Credit CMT SVP of music events and talent John Hamlin with the idea to combine country and dance.
“I’m starting to love the EDM/pop elements that are finding their way into today’s country and have been looking for chance to connect the dots on TV,” Hamlin tells Billboard. “Both Zedd and Lady Antebellum immediately responded to our idea of putting them together for a CMT Music Awards performance. As far as we know it’s the first ever awards show country/EDM jam.”
The collaborators will perform a medley of their current singles, Lady A’s “Long Stretch of Love,” and Zedd’s “Beautiful Now.” Lady Antebellum is no stranger to the dance world: the trio ended the dates on its recent European tour with a mash-up of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and The Carter Family’s “When I’m Gone.” Zedd is best known for his hit “Clarity,” featuring Foxes, and for his duet with Ariana Grande, “Break Free,” which reached No. 4 on the Hot 100.
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Among the other acts appearing on the CMT Music Awards, which will air live on CMT from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Sam Hunt, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban.