Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry headline CMA Music Festival’s fourth day
“Nashville’s” singing siblings Lennon & Maisy made a surprise appearance
The final night of CMA Music Festival brought truncated performances at LP Field due to storms looming nearby, but fans still got a great night of music with performances from Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, Gary Allan, Jake Owen, Lee Greenwood, and a surprise appearance by adorable singing siblings Lennon & Maisy, who play Maddie and Daphne Conrad on the ABC drama “Nashville.” Charlie Daniels also surprised the crowd, taking the stage to perform with Paisley. (They are pictured together above.)
Backstage in the press room, where our intrepid intern Thomas Griffin has been busily jotting down country stars’ pearls of wisdom and humor over the festival’s four-day run, Paisley spoke about performing at the festival, saying, “It’s important to be here for the town [of Nashville]. Country music, more than any other music, has a town. This is the heart, this is the place.”
Underwood (left) also commented about the Festival, noting, “We’re the only genre that does this for our fans. Country music has the most loyal fans anywhere . . . It’s really great to see people come and make a week out of it.”
Paisley briefly addressed the controversy that blew up around his song “Accidental Racist” earlier this year, saying, “My fans have been great. I have so much love and support from them on it. When you’re going to bring up topics and tackle certain things like we did, we expected to ruffle some feathers, but at the same time I stand fully behind what we did.”
The singer, who has been known to treat his touring partners to go cart outings, midnight movie screenings, among other adventures, joked that the plan behind his generosity is to “make it real hard for other headliners to show them a good time.”
Underwood commented about her recent one-song guest appearance with The Rolling Stones at a Canadian tour date, saying, “It was amazing . . . Getting there and seeing all the guys at sound check, goofing off, it was very surreal.”
The Band Perry (right) spoke about exploring the possibility of staging their own headlining tour after having opened for numerous other stars. Said the band’s Kimberly Perry, “We’ve gotten to be on all of our dream tours, and feel like now is the time to start dipping our toes into headlining tours.”
Speaking about the band’s latest album, “Pioneer,” Perry said, “We dug really, really deep on the tracks on this record. We challenge ourselves to grow the songs, and the songs challenge us to grow the show.”
Sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella (pictured during their LP Field performance below) spoke to the press corps about their first-ever CMA performance (“Truly amazing,” said Lennon), meeting fellow star Keith Urban (“a sweetie,” declared Maisy), and their newfound fame as “Nashville” cast members. “I was in so much shock,” said Maisy. “We’re not used to being stopped by people and being asked for autographs. It’s overwhelming, in a good way.”
Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, who are now performing together as a duo called Grits & Glamour, spoke about the friendship they’ve forged by touring together. Said Morgan. “We’re very blessed to find somebody in this business that you can be this close to. This tour has allowed us to become really good friends.” Added Tillis, “We really understand each other in a way that’s rare. We find some of the same things amusing that maybe nobody else would get.”
Reporting by Thomas Griffin in Nashville.
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