Luke, Darius, Lady A and More Look Forward to Tonight’s 2015 CMT Music Awards


Luke Bryan is one of the biggest stars performing on Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards, but it wasn’t that long ago he considered himself very lucky to get a slot on the show.

He says, “They took a chance on me a few years ago and let me perform ‘Country Girl (Shake It for Me)’ on the show and really kinda sent my career into another level.”

Since the CMT Music Awards mean so much to Luke, he’s chosen to premiere his brand-new single, “Kick the Dust Up,” on this year’s broadcast.

“It’s gonna be a fun night,” Luke says. “Got a lot of smoke, lot of lights, it’s gonna be crazy.”

Luke is also looking forward to seeing some of the guest presenters at this year’s CMT Music Awards, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and co-hosts Erin Andrews of Dancing with the Stars and Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow.

Says Luke, “They always have really, really interesting guests. They think outside the box on a lot of things, and it’s a fun night for that reason.”

Darius Rucker loves the fun vibe of the CMT Music Awards, too. He says, “It’s really laidback. I love getting to play the CMT Awards ’cause you get to play and you get to have a good time. They always put together these cool things.”

This year, Darius will deliver his performance on an outdoor stage in downtown Nashville during the show. Since it is summer in the south, is Darius worried about insects possibly interfering with his live performance?

He says with a laugh, “I’m sure as soon as I hit the first note, a bug’s gonna fly right into my mouth, right into my throat.”

Darius adds, “I want to play outdoors for the folks, so it’s gonna be fun.”

Jake Owen performed outdoors on last year’s CMT Music Awards, so he’s excited to move back inside to sing his new single, “Real Life,” on Wednesday night. He promises the performance will have a lot of fun, summertime energy.

Says Jake, “We got a bunch of dancers and craziness going on.”

Brett Eldredge is presenting a trophy with his pal Thomas Rhett on this year’s CMT Music Awards.  While he used to be nervous about reading a teleprompter and being on camera, Brett has now mastered the art of being an awards show presenter.  So, what’s his secret?

Brett tells ABC Radio, “[You’ve got to] style yourself up a little bit, look good, turn up the charm and go up there and win ’em over and read those three lines with pizazz!”

In fact, Brett loves being on camera so much, you should probably expect to see him hosting an awards show some day.

He adds, “I’ll do everything but dance on stage.”

The CMT Music Awards will open with Lady Antebellum and Pop/EDM star Zedd  performing a mashup of the group’s current single, “Long Stretch of Love,” and his hit, “Beautiful Now.” While the songs are very different, Lady A’s Hillary Scott says, “I think it really works. I think it’ll be a really exciting start to the show. You know, we’re huge fans of what he’s doing.”

Other performances on the show include Eric Church delivering his latest hit, “Like a Wrecking Ball,” and Keith Urban debuts his brand-new single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, Zac Brown Band, Kelsea Ballerini, A Thousand Horses, Frankie Ballard and Reba are among the other performers on the 2015 CMT Music Awards. The show broadcasts live from Nashville Wednesday night at 8 ET on CMT and

Here are the 2015 CMT Music Awards nominees:

Video of the Year

Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Darius Rucker, “Homegrown Honey”
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Male Video of the Year
Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
Eric Church, “Talladega”
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Keith Urban, “Somewhere in My Car”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”

Female Video of the Year
Carrie Underwood, “Little Toy Guns”
Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
Lee Ann Womack, “The Way I’m Livin'”
Miranda Lambert, “Little Red Wagon”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Reba, “Going Out Like That”

Group Video of the Year
A Thousand Horses, “Smoke”
Eli Young Band, “Dust”
Lady Antebellum, “Bartender”
Little Big Town, “Day Drinking”
The Band Perry, “Chainsaw”
Zac Brown Band, “All Alright”

Breakthrough Video of the Year
Chase Rice, “Gonna Wanna Tonight”
Frankie Ballard, “Sunshine & Whiskey”
Kelsea Ballerini, “Love Me Like You Mean It”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
RaeLynn, “God Made Girls”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”

Duo Video of the Year
Big & Rich, “Look at You”
Brothers Osborne, “Rum”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”
Florida Georgia Line, “Sun Daze”
Maddie & Tae, “Girl in a Country Song”
The Swon Brothers, “Later On”

Collaborative Video of the Year
Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”
Brantley Gilbert featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, “Small Town Throwdown”
Jennifer Nettles featuring Brandy Clark, “His Hands”
Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, “Wild Child”
Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad’
Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”

CMT Performance of the Year
Bob Seger and Jason Aldean, “Turn the Page”
Brett Eldredge, “Beat of the Music”
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack, “You & I (Nobody in the World)”
Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves, “Roar”
Keith Urban, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”
Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”
Lady Antebellum and Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up”
Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, “Drink a Beer”

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