For the second consecutive year, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland will host “CMA Country Christmas.” The television special, which is produced by the Country Music Association, will feature many of today’s top country artists and will air on the ABC Television Network later this year during the holiday season.
“CMA Country Christmas” will tape in front of a live audience on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Performers, television airdate, and ticket information will be announced soon.
“I love holiday traditions and am so excited to add hosting ‘CMA Country Christmas’ to my new list of traditions now!” said Nettles in a news release. “I’m gonna have to up my game this second time around, so I’m putting Brad and Carrie on speed dial for hosting emergency consulting services!”
“We are excited to welcome Jennifer back as host for ‘CMA Country Christmas’ again this year,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer, in the release. “In addition to her vast musical talent, Jennifer is also a charming and engaging television personality. We know our fans and viewers will be excited to watch Jennifer host our holiday special again this year.”
The “CMA Country Christmas” taping will follow the 45th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Checotah native Carrie Underwood, which airs live from the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9 on the ABC Television Network.
The first “CMA Country Christmas” featured Oklahoma native Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts (which includes Picher-bred guitarist Joe Don Rooney), Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, LeAnn Rimes, Darius Rucker and Sugarland performing classic Christmas songs. In 2010, the special built sharply on its lead-in (+22%) and drew an average audience of 7.3 million viewers in its first airing on Nov. 30, 2010, topping original competition on NBC and FOX by wide margins. It improved its time period for ABC over the same night in 2009 by 1.0 million viewers (7.3 million vs. 6.3 million). The special re-aired a second time on Dec. 22, 2010, reaching 4.25 million viewers. With its combined airings, “CMA Country Christmas” was seen by more than 11.5 million viewers in 2010.
The return of the holiday special is surely welcome good news for Sugarland, whose planned performance earlier this month at the Indiana State Fair turned into a tragedy when strong winds and stormy weather toppled the stage rigging, killing seven fans and injuring many more.
Nettles has won four CMA Awards as one-half of Sugarland (CMA Vocal Duo of the Year 2007-2010). She won an additional award on her own when she received the CMA Song of the Year Award for writing the duo’s hit single “Stay” in 2008. As part of Sugarland, she has sold more than nine million albums. The duo’s current album is “The Incredible Machine.”