Reba, Brad Paisley + More Spread Holiday Cheer in Music City
With Thanksgiving less than two weeks to go and Christmas just around the corner, country's hottest stars are already getting in the holiday spirit.
On Thursday (November 11), just one night after the 44th Annual CMA Awards, the Bridgestone Arena in the heart of downtown Nashville was transformed into a magical winter wonderland with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and artificial snow falling from the ceiling of the packed house. Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Martina McBride, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Sugarland, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Kellie Pickler all came together for the taping of the CMA Country Christmas, with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles serving as the night's host.
"Nothing like a Christmas special when it's 85 degrees outside," Brad Paisley joked between takes when he sang 'What Child is This?' as well as 'Run, Rudolph, Run' with Sheryl Crow.
Kellie Pickler performed a sexy rendition of 'Santa Baby,' wearing a hip-hugging red satin dress with matching gloves that went to her elbows, while LeAnn Rimes covered Brenda Lee's classic, 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.' LeAnn returned to the stage later in the evening to also perform 'White Christmas.'
Martina McBride received a standing ovation for both of her show-stopping performances of 'O Holy Night' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'
Rascal Flatts had the audience captivated as they sang an a capella version of 'God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,' moving the crowd to their feet by the end of the song. They also treated fans to 'I'll Be Home for Christmas.'
In between her four wardrobe changes, Jennifer Nettles joined Sugarland partner Kristian Bush for 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel' and 'Winter Wonderland,' during which Little Big Town sang background harmony. Little Big Town wowed the crowd once again with a powerful 'Go Tell It on the Mountain.'
Reba McEntire's take on 'Here Comes Santa Claus,' was accompanied by various Santas delivering presents from their bags to the children in the crowd.
Darius Rucker rounded out the show with his original tune, 'Candy Cane Christmas,' prior to the all-star encore of 'Jingle Bell Rock.'
'CMA Country Christmas' is set to air on ABC Monday, November 29 at 9:30 PM ET.