Who Is Performing at ‘CMA Country Christmas’ 2018?

CMA Country Christmas is back with its 9th annual holiday special, and singer Reba McEntire is returning to host for the second year in a row. The two-hour special, which was recorded back in September, airs Monday, December 10, at 8/7c on ABC.

The CMA Country Christmas lineup

CMA Country Christmas

The Isaacs with Reba McEntire at the CMA Country Christmas | Mark Levine/ABC

This year’s Country Christmas lineup features big names from the world of country music and beyond. Viewers who tune in for the 2018 special will see performances from:

  • Reba McEntire
  • Tony Bennett
  • Dan + Shay
  • Brett Eldredge
  • Amy Grant
  • Diana Krall
  • Dustin Lynch
  • Martina McBride
  • Old Dominion
  • Brad Paisley
  • Michael W. Smith
  • Lindsey Stirling
  • The Isaacs
  • Bret Young

Artificial tree maker Balsam Hill partnered with the Country Music Association to decorate the stage for this year’s event.

What to expect from this year’s CMA Country Christmas

Music fans can expect some great performances of holiday classics from their favorite artists during the 2018 CMA Country Christmas special, including a rendition of ‘What Child Is This’ from McEntire and The Isaacs. She’ll also perform a cover of ‘Hard Candy Christmas,’ originally made famous by Dolly Parton.

“It’s just so much fun to do,” McEntire said in an interview with WJLA in Washinton, D.C. “I love Christmas songs. I’ve had two or three Christmas albums out – one out right now. It’s fun to get to sing, dress up, and the stage was beautiful.”

Dustin Lynch will sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” which was originally recorded by Darlene Love for Phil Spector’s 1963 Christmas album. Fans will also hear a new arrangement of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” from Dan + Shay.

“It’s a little more rocking, and we’re moving around a little bit more than we traditionally do,” Dan Smyers told PopCulture.com. “In the past, we’ve kind of stuck at the mic, tried to look stoic, a little bit in between lines. And tonight, we’re going to be cruising around and having a lot of fun. So, it’s a little different, but hopefully the fans like it. We’re excited about it.”

Some artists who participated shared a behind-the-scenes look at the show, including Michael W. Smith, who posted a photo with singer Amy Grant backstage.


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Silly Amy… We have had so much fun at the CMA Country Christmas Special. Be sure to watch it on ABC this Christmas season.

A post shared by Michael W. Smith (@mwsmithofficial) on

Becky Isaacs Bowman of The Isaacs shared a photo with violinist, dancer, and America’s Got Talent finalist Lindsey Stirling.


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Lindsey Stirling #cmacountrychristmas

A post shared by Becky Isaacs (@beckyisaacsbowman) on

Rebe McEntire’s favorite Christmas song

McEntire has released three Christmas albums over her long career, including 1987’s Merry Christmas to You, The Secret of Giving: A Christmas Collection (from 1999), and 2016’s My Kind of Christmas.

Though she’s sung many classic Christmas carols as well as her own original Christmas songs, McEntire says one tune stands out as her favorite.

“My favorite Christmas song has always been ‘O Holy Night,’” she told WJLA. There are versions of the song on two of her three holiday albums.

CMA Country Christmas airs December 10 at 8/7c on ABC. A rebroadcast airs December 22 at 8/7c.

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