Timberlake revealed the news by posting a picture to Twitter, showing him rehearsing with Stapleton. He wrote, “Honored to share the stage with this BADASS.”
Timberlake also pointed out the Tennessee connection the two performers share — he is from Memphis, while Stapleton reps the country capital Nashville.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) November 2, 2015
Stapleton is nominated for three awards at this year’s CMAs, including New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for his for his solo debut, Traveller. He told Rolling Stone Country that he and Timberlake had been looking for a reason to do something to together.
“[Timberlake] is obviously one of the greatest musical talents in the world, maybe ever, that we have,” Stapleton told the publication. “I called him up with no thought of him agreeing to it and he was ready to start planning it right then. I said, ‘Well, I think maybe we should wait and if we get nominated they’ll let me have [a slot].’ He was so gracious and kind to want to do it and was so excited about it, and I’m excited about it. It’ll be something I’ve never done before for sure.”
The two have not announced what song they will perform but Timberlake has teased a possible country album for several years, which this performance could help him better introduce. He has previously dueted with country stars such as Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire.
The CMA Awards air live from Nashville on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.