Luke Bryan To Host ABC Special ‘On The Road To the CMA Awards’

by Samantha Whidden
(Art Streiber/ABC via Getty Images)

Prior to the 56th annual CMA Awards on Wednesday (November 9th), co-host Luke Bryan will be hosting an ABC special, On the Road to the CMA Awards. 

According to Billboard, the new special will offer viewers an all-access look into the life of Wynonna Judd, as she returns to the stage following the death of her mother and country music hall of fame, Naomi Judd. Judd will appear in the special alongside fellow country music hitmakers Martina McBride and Little Big Town. 

Hosted by Luke Bryan, the special will feature resining CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Carly Pearce as well as this year’s most-nominated artist, Lainey Wilson (with six nominations). Russell Dickerson and Kane Brown are also featured in the special. 

Luke Bryan previously offered his condolences to the Judds following Naomi’s passing. “My family’s prayers go out the Judd family. What a tremendous loss in the country music community. The Judds music has inspired so many of my dreams and truly spoke to me my whole life. You will be missed Naomi.”

On the Road to the CMA Awards will premiere on Monday (November 7th) at 10/9c on ABC. The special will also air days after Wynonna takes the stage at The Judds: Love Is Alive – The Final Concert. The event is going to be a recreation of the iconic music group’s 1991 farewell concert. Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Martina McBride, and Little Big Town will also appear at the event. It will air on Thursday (November 3rd) through CMT.

Luke Bryan Opens Up About Hosting the CMA Awards With Peyton Manning 

During a recent interview with the Tennessean, Luke Bryan shared his true thoughts about hosting the CMA Awards alongside NFL legend Peyton Manning. “It’s gonna be fun being on stage with him,” Bryan shared. “He and I have gotten to be pretty good buddies over the years.”

Luke Bryan then said that Manning has “hurt” him as a football fan a few times. “He’s hurt the ‘ole Georgia boy quite a few times. The Peyton years were pretty dark for the Georgia Bulldogs.”

Luke Bryan then told PEOPLE that Manning touches a different audience than He does. “So I think it helps us get into more households and maybe more people tune in to see what kind of crazy shenanigans he and I may be up to.”

Also reflecting on his experience as being CMA’s  Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan said it’s the number one achievement that he could ever say he has. “When IO was a kid watching CMAs,” he said. “And watching my heroes win the Entertainer of the Year, to put myself in that position to win was one of the most gratifying situations in my artist career.”

Luke Bryan also said that the CMA Award trophies sit on his mantle. “It’s pretty amazing to stare at ‘em and keep striving to be a better entertainer.”