Thomas Rhett & Kelsea Ballerini's Close Friendship Helps CMA Fest Co-Hosting Job

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Thomas Rhett re-teams with Kelsea Ballerini for their third year of co-hosting duties on the CMA Fest prime time special airing on ABC on Sunday (August 4th). The two acts have built a close friendship between touring, co-hosting and recording a song together (for Thomas' Center Point Road album), which Thomas tells us definitely shines through in this year's CMA Fest special. ["When you spend that much time with somebody, if you don't become friends I think you're miserable at that point, so me and Kelsea have known each other for about five years now and me and my wife hang out with her and Morgan quite a bit, and when you have this down time you kind of just sit and talk about life and really get to know each other better and I think that the more friends you are and the better you know somebody it definitely should translate on the TV when you get to co-host with each other."] SOUNDCUE (:24 OC: . . . with each other.)

The three-hour CMA Fest TV special airs at 8 p.m. ET.

Performers include Thomas, Kelsea, Carrie Underwood and rocker Joan Jett; Kelsea Ballerini and The Chainsmokers; Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus along with Keith Urban; Brothers Osborne and Brooks & Dunn; Ashley McBryde with Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell; Tim McGraw and Luke Combs; and Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Janson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Midland, Old Dominion, Pistol Annies, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and Brett Young.