The CMA Music Festival is a four-day music festival centered on country music hosted each June by the Country Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning in 1972 as Fan Fair, the event now draws over 400 artists and celebrities who hold autograph sessions and perform in one of the many concerts offered throughout the festival.
In 2011, total combined attendance for the four-day event was estimated to have exceeded 250,000 people at ticketed events and in free areas. Visitors came from 41 different nations, and all 50 states.
Steven Tyler (born Steven Victor Tallarico; March 26, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and former television music competition judge, best known as the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano and percussion. He is known as the "Demon of Screamin'" due to his high screams and his wide vocal range. He is also known for his on-stage acrobatics. During his high-energy performances, Tyler usually dresses in bright, colorful outfits with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand.
In the 1970s, Tyler rose to prominence as the lead singer of Aerosmith, which released such milestone hard rock albums as Toys in the Attic and Rocks, along with a string of hit singles, including "Dream On", "Sweet Emotion", and "Walk This Way". In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Tyler had a heavy drug and alcohol addiction, and the band's popularity waned. Tyler and bandmate Joe Perry became known as the "Toxic Twins" due to their drug abuse. In 1986, Tyler completed drug rehabilitation and Aerosmith rose to prominence again when Tyler and Perry joined Run–D.M.C. for a re-make of the classic Aerosmith song "Walk This Way", which became a Top 5 hit. Aerosmith subsequently launched a remarkable comeback with the multi-platinum albums Permanent Vacation, Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives, which produced a combined thirteen Top 40 singles and won the band numerous awards. During this time, the band embarked on their longest and most extensive concert tours, promoted their singles with conceptual music videos, and made notable appearances in television, film, and video games. In the wake of this success, Tyler emerged as one of the most enduring rock icons. Since the late 1980s, he has embarked on several solo endeavors including guest appearances on other artists' music (working with artists as diverse as Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Santana, Pink, and Keith Anderson), film and TV roles (including as a judge on American Idol and several cameo and guest appearances in other programs and films), authoring a bestselling book, and solo work (including the Top 40 hit single "(It) Feels So Good" in 2011). While tension with his Aerosmith bandmates boiled in 2009 and 2010 after he fell off the stage at a concert, had a relapse with prescription drugs (which he successfully received treatment for in 2009), and signed on to American Idol without telling his bandmates, Tyler has continued to record music and perform with Aerosmith, after more than 45 years in the band. In May 2015, Tyler released the country single "Love Is Your Name", followed by the second single "Red, White & You" in January 2016; his debut solo album is expected to be released in 2016.
Tyler is included among Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers. He was ranked 3rd on Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Aerosmith, and in 2013, Tyler and his songwriting partner Joe Perry received the ASCAP Founders Award and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Thomas Luther Bryan (born July 17, 1976), known professionally as Luke Bryan, is an American country music singer and songwriter. Bryan began his musical career in the mid 2000s, writing songs for his longtime friends from high school, performers Travis Tritt and Billy Currington and releasing his first spring break album. After signing with Capitol Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee in 2007 with his cousin, Chad Christopher Boyd, he released the album I'll Stay Me, which included the singles "All My Friends Say", "We Rode in Trucks", and "Country Man". The follow-up album Doin' My Thing included "Do I", which Bryan co-wrote with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum, and the #1 singles "Rain Is a Good Thing" and "Someone Else Calling You Baby".
Tailgates & Tanlines, released in 2011, includes "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)", and the number one singles "I Don't Want This Night to End", "Drunk on You", and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye". Bryan's fourth album, Crash My Party, was released in August 2013 and includes the number one singles "Crash My Party", "That's My Kind of Night", "Drink a Beer", "Play It Again", "Roller Coaster" and "I See You". The fifth album, Kill The Lights, was released in August 2015 and its lead single, "Kick the Dust Up", became his 13th number one hit, followed by his 14th number one "Strip It Down". Bryan co-wrote all of his singles with the exception of "Drunk on You", "Crash My Party", "That's My Kind of Night", "Drink a Beer", "Play It Again", "Roller Coaster", and "Kick the Dust Up" and co-produced all four albums and one compilation album with Jeff Stevens. Bryan was the recipient of the Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards "Entertainer of the Year" award. To date, Bryan has sold over 7 million albums and 27 million singles worldwide.
Carrie Marie Underwood (born March 10, 1983) is an American country music singer, songwriter and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005, and has since become one of the most successful artists in any musical genre. Her achievements led her to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009. She has won numerous music awards, including 7 Grammy Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards and 9 American Music Awards.
Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and "Before He Cheats", it became the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history and the best-selling country album of the last ten years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist. Released in 2007, her second album, Carnival Ride, had one of the biggest ever opening weeks by a female artist and earned Underwood two Grammy Awards. Her next album, 2009's Play On, was a commercial success led by the single "Cowboy Casanova". Underwood's fourth album, Blown Away (2012), earned her a Grammy Award and was that year's second best-selling release by a female artist. Her first compilation album (2014) was a chart and sales success and earned her a Grammy Award. Her fifth album, Storyteller (2015), made her the only country artist to have all first five studio albums reach either numbers one or two on the Billboard 200. She has sold more than 65 million records worldwide.
Recognized by Rolling Stone as the female vocalist of her generation in any genre, by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and by Billboard as Country Music's reigning Queen, Underwood is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the first and only country artist ever to debut at number one on the Hot 100 and, with 14 number one's, the woman with the most number one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart — from 1991 to present — breaking her own Guinness Book record of ten. She is the Top Country Artist of all-time on the RIAA's Digital Singles ranking and the biggest American Idol earner of all time. Some Hearts was named the number one country album of the 2000s by Billboard and she was the top-ranked female artist on Billboard's Best Country Artists of the 2000s list.