By Billy Dukes October 5, 2016 6:00 PM
Modern country music will take a backseat at the 2016 CMA Awards next month. Instead of the usual push of current songs from new albums, today’s artists will honor the history of country music.
Country Music Association board member and songwriter Shane McAnally says CMA executive producer Robert Deaton talked to various management teams and producers and found consensus that this year — the 50th annual CMA Awards — should be about more than the latest singles.
“Everybody has kind of taken their respective hats off of trying to promote something that’s happening right now,” McAnally explained during a No. 1 party celebration for Dierks Bentley‘s “Different for Girls,” a song he co-wrote with JT Harding. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be some of that, but I think we’re definitely going to see a lot of throwback and I’m really excited about that.”
“I do know there’s going to be a lot of heritage artists, so you’re going to see a lot fewer current singles being pushed,” McAnally adds.
No performers for the 2016 CMA Awards have been announced. Typically it’s the hottest artists at the time of the ceremony — artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Pop or rock acts often team up with country names for one-of-a-kind live collaborations. That may not be the case this year, although McAnally admits that he does not know which songs and artists will be included yet.
For the 50th annual ACM Awards in April 2015, producers changed up the script so artists had a chance to play a medley of hits instead of just a single song. The result was a fast-paced concert built around an awards show that worked to please fans of all ages and backgrounds.
Few specific details about the Nov. 2 ABC broadcast of the CMA Awards have been revealed, although it was announced that Dolly Parton will receive the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Both icons are included in “Forever Country,” a massive country mashup that featured 30 artists singing three classic country songs.
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