CMT is set to pay tribute to the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd with a power-packed performance during Sunday’s (April 2) CMT Music Awards. Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash will join Wynonna Judd, Billy Gibbons, Chuck Leavell, Cody Johnson, Paul Rodgers, Warren Haynes and LeAnn Rimes as part of the performance, which comes half a century after the 1973 launch of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s self-titled debut album.
The Lynyrd Skynyrd album included many of the group’s signature hits, including “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Free Bird.” The tribute performance also follows the death of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final original founding member, guitarist Gary Rossington, who passed away on March 5 at age 71.
Johnson and Rodgers will lead vocals with Gibbons, with Slash and Haynes on electric guitar for a one-time-only performance of a pair of timeless Lynyrd Skynyrd hits. Nashville studio musicians Ethan Pilzer and Rich Redmond will round out the lineup on bass and drums. Rimes and Judd will fill the role of The Honkettes.
Rossington’s wife and band member Dale Krantz Rossington is set to attend the event, along with fellow Lynyrd Skynyrd members Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlock.
In 2016, Lynyrd Skynyrd appeared on CMT Crossroads with Brantley Gilbert. The CMT Music Awards will air live on CBS, from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, and will stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.
The tribute performance joins previously announced performances from Darius Rucker with The Black Crowes, as well as sets from Carrie Underwood, Jelly Roll, Tyler Hubbard, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and CMT Music Awards co-hosts Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown.