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‘CMA Country Christmas’ 2016, 5 Can’t-Miss Performances

Kelsea Ballerini

The 2016 CMA Country Christmas concert this year promises to be brimming with razzle dazzle – and a lot of twang.


Jennifer Nettles returns to host the favorite holiday special, with an even more robust lineup anticipated to take the stage. Filmed on Election Night at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the performances were heartwarming and wide-ranging, featuring tenured country stars to pop music genre crossovers and promising rookies.


With 23 tunes in total, these concerts will definitely get your holiday spirit going into overdrive.


Billboard takes a look at the standout performances we’re excited to see add just a little cheer to our living rooms. Read on for our top five picks beneath.


“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Jennifer Nettles and Andra Day

This 1800s traditional English carol gets an important facelift, developed with a jazzy, Louis Armstrong-worthy arrangement. Because of the vocal heft of Andra Day and Jennifer Nettles, this performance will certainly have a lot of sauce and grit to tide us over this holiday season. The performance is featured on Nettles’ first-ever holiday-themed album, ‘To Celebrate Christmas’.


“Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing),” Kelly Clarkson

The Christmas standard has been redefined by the first American Idol’s holiday music project, ‘Wrapped in Red’. Among the standouts is a brooding tune original released by blues vocalist Charles Brown.


“Country Christmas,” Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn and Jennifer Nettles

Three in a single performance of the finest female vocalists in nation? These traditional country artist undoubtedly wanted to keep things Opry proper, while the remaining part of the show leans heavy on the jazz, pop and R&B.


“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Brett Eldredge

Eldredge’s foray into holiday music is definitely a radiant showcase of his ability. Frequently veering into Frank Sinatra territory, the country star mixes the modern and the classic. On record, this song is as smooth and buttery as the eggnog we all ‘ll be downing by the gallons in a couple of weeks.


“My Favourite Things,” Kelsea Ballerini

The breakout country radio star shows an extremely different side to her gift with her exuberant and jazzy version of the signature Sound of Music theme. Backed by 13-year old prodigy Joey Alexander on the ivories, Ballerini could be performing the greatest song of her career.



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