Why Dustin Lynch was pinching himself during his “CMA Country Christmas” debut

ABC/Mark Levine

Earlier this month at the CMA Country Christmas taping at the Grand Ole Opry House, you could feel the excitement — with most of it centered around one thing: Reba McEntire’s first time hosting the annual ABC holiday special.

That was certainly the case for Dustin Lynch, who’s a certified Reba super-fan.

“Oh my gosh, it’s gonna be amazing,” he said backstage. “You know, rehearsals were great yesterday, and I look forward to talking with her. Come on, let’s be honest. Anytime Reba McEntire introduces you onstage — it’s been a crazy year of ‘pinch me’ moments and this is one of ’em.”

This year, Dustin makes his CMA Country Christmas debut, singing a yuletide classic.

“I can’t believe I even got dibs on this one. I’m doing ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.’ It’s one of my favorites. We kinda melted [Frank] Sinatra and Bing [Crosby] into this version that I’m gonna do.”

So could a holiday record from Dustin be far behind?

“I don’t know if I’ll ever do a Christmas album,” he admits. “It’s part of my record deal, so I think in writing I have to. But there’s not been any talks yet, for whatever reason.”

“I sing Christmas music year-round,” Dustin explains. “I catch myself in the heat of summer singing Christmas songs, and I know that’s when those are supposed to be recorded. So I’ll fall right into place if they ever ask me to do one.”

The two-hour CMA Country Christmas special premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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