WATCH: Dierks Bentley and Billy Ray Cyrus Deliver Unexpected Collab During ‘CMA Fest’

The surprises are endless at CMA Fest and this year was no different as ‘90s country icon Billy Ray Cyrus…

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 3, 2022

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Dierks Bentley, Billy Ray Cyrus; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The surprises are endless at CMA Fest and this year was no different as ‘90s country icon Billy Ray Cyrus shocked the Nissan Stadium crowd with a performance of his breakout hit alongside Dierks Bentley. 

Cyrus surprised during Bentley’s set when he came on stage to join him for a performance of 1992 hit, “Achy Breaky Heart.”

YouTube video

The surprise collab brought on a full-on sing-along at Nissan Stadium with fans singing along to every word, from the field to the rafters. 

Bentley also performed his boozy hit, “Drunk On A Plane” for the CMA Fest crowd. 

CMA Fest ABC Special was filmed in Downtown Nashville at Nissan Stadium during the star-studded, four-day festival, which took place Thursday, June 9 through Sunday, June 12.

Dierks Bentley, Billy Ray Cyrus; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Dierks Bentley, Billy Ray Cyrus; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

The three-hour music event of the summer featured 30+ performances and surprise collaborations from some of Country music’s hottest stars, including Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Russell Dickerson, Lady A, Parker McCollum, Carly Pearce, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, Lainey Wilson, and Zac Brown Band and more. 

The Music Event of Summer, which marked the 49th year of the festival, was hosted by first-time hosts Dierks Bentley and Elle King.

Dierks Bentley; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Dierks Bentley; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

“I think Elle brings so much to the table,” Bentley shared. “Onstage she’s just a riot and also super talented – a great combination of talent with comedic humor. A lot of spontaneous moments between the two of us and just a lot of laughs.” 

“I am co-hosting this whole shebang,” King added. “Not only do I get to do it with my buddy Dierks, I also get to see all these incredible performances and be a part of a big party!” 

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The CMA Fest special aired at 8/7c on Wednesday, Aug. 3 via ABC Network and will stream via Hulu on Thursday (Aug. 4).

Additionally, CMA Fest will return to Nashville in 2023 for its 50th anniversary. The event will take place June 8-11 and tickets are on sale now

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.