‘CMA Country Christmas’ 2020: Everything You Need to Know


The year 2020 has been a difficult one for most, but the hopefully-brighter holiday season is nearly here. With it, just like clockwork, comes the annual CMA Country Christmas television special.

This year, country stars will converge once again for a night of festive performances, dazzling holiday decor and all the magic of the Christmas season: a one-hour special set to air just after Thanksgiving. In 2020, there’s even a special theme for the show to give an added element of coziness and comfort.

“The idea for this year’s show was to do a throwback of the great Christmas specials of the 1960s and 1970s,” explains CMA Country Christmas executive producer Robert Deaton. “Andy Williams, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra all had classic Christmas specials where the viewer was invited into the homes of the host to celebrate the holiday like a best friend coming to visit. That was what we wanted to create for this year’s show. Instead of a big flashy production, we took a page from from those iconic specials to say, ‘Come relax, and let’s celebrate the holidays together.'”

To learn more about the event — including who will be performing and hosting this year, as well as when to mark your calendar to sit down and watch the event for yourself — read on!

When Is CMA Country Christmas 2020 Airing, and When Did It Take Place?

The 2020 CMA Country Christmas special was taped ahead of time in Nashville; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show forewent its tradition of having a live audience. The one-hour holiday special will be broadcast on ABC on Nov. 30 at 9PM ET.

Who Is Hosting CMA Country Christmas 2020?

First-time hosts and real-life country couple Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins will take the stage to host CMA Country Christmas this year. They’ve got some big shoes to fill, as the show was hosted in 2019 by Trisha Yearwood, and by Reba McEntire for the two years beforehand; prior to McEntire’s tenure, Jennifer Nettles hosted CMA Country Christmas for seven years, all the way back to the TV special’s inaugural event.

But the pair are ready: They’re major fans of the holiday season, and have in the past even hosted caroling events with their fellow country star friends. In 2019, Rhett released a pair of holiday songs, including his original “Christmas in the Country.” Their traditions have also evolved as their family has grown, and Christmas 2020 will be their first as a family of five (they welcomed their third daughter, Lennon Love, in February).

Who Will Be Performing at CMA Country Christmas 2020?

In addition to hosting the show, Rhett will perform on the CMA Country Christmas stage. Joining him on the show is a star-studded list of artists, including both veteran CMA Country Christmas performers and some first-timers, too.

Here’s the full list of 2020 CMA Country Christmas performers:

Kelsea Ballerini
Dan + Shay
Gabby Barrett
Florida Georgia Line
Lady A
Little Big Town
Tim McGraw
Thomas Rhett
Darius Rucker with Lindsay Sterling

Who Will Be Attending CMA Country Christmas 2020?

A live audience is typically invited to watch the show, but those plans were scrapped this year because of social distancing protocols.

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