Big & Rich Make Surprise Appearance at CMA Fest

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The 2024 CMA Fest delivered memorable performances with surprise guests

The annual CMA Music Festival takes over Downtown Nashville every June and is considered to be the largest festival in country music. Now in its 51st year, the four-day event drew an estimated 90,000 attendees each day and showcased over 300 artists across multiple stages

One thing that CMA Fest attendees have grown to expect is the unexpected. Each night, Nashville’s Nissan Stadium is filled to the brim with country music fans, and many headlining artists like to bring out their Music City friends for surprise performances.

This year, some of the many unexpected guests included Post Malone, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Clint Black, Gretchen Wilson, and more.

Big & Rich join HARDY on stage for a surprise performance of one of their most well-known songs

Country rocker HARDY was the very last performer of the weekend and closed out the stadium show on Sunday night (June 9). As a long-time Nashville songwriter, HARDY has collaborated with an extensive list of artists both within and outside of the country music industry.

During his set, he surprised the CMA Fest crowd when he welcomed country duo Big & Rich to the main stage. Together, they performed the hit song “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy).”

“Big” Kenny Alphin and John Rich have been making music together for nearly 30 years. This performance marked the milestone of 20 years since “Save A Horse” was released in 2004. Since then, it has been used in movies, television shows, commercials, and video games.

The pair were decked out for their surprise CMA fest performance – with John Rich sporting a floor-length fur coat and Big Kenny in his signature steampunk look.

Judging by the sound of their cheers, the crowd loved the unexpected collaboration and sang and danced along to the performance.

Watch a clip of HARDY and Big & Rich performing “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” below! 


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