Final preparations underway for 49th annual CMA Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (KABC) -- The final preparations for country music's biggest night were underway Tuesday.

The 49th annual CMA Awards are being held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday night.

Country music's biggest stars were busy rehearsing for the big night, and putting on this show is no easy task.

"Fifteen years ago, 20 years ago you did an awards show like this and everyone played on the same set," executive producer Robert Deaton said. "Now, if we have 19 performances, we're doing 19 different looks, 19 different setups, 19 different lighting looks, set design."

All that production requires a lot of equipment and plenty of instruments for all the numbers.

This year, the audience is being treated to some special duets.

"One of the opening numbers of the show is John Cougar Mellencamp with Keith Urban, so that's a perfect mashup," co-host Brad Paisley said.

The arena will soon be full of major names in music, and the Nashville streets are full of visitors who've come to see the show of a lifetime.

"I think everybody has a heart for Nashville. This is a bucket list thing. This is something you got to do, just got to do it," Gidget Welborn said.

"Growing up in the Central Valley of California, country music was our roots, and so having an opportunity to come to Nashville where the heart of country music is is something we've always dreamed of," Shawn Deremer said.

"To have this many talented people all in one venue, we can't wait to see it," Mark Nordstrom said. "It's our 35th wedding anniversary, so we decided to come for it."

You can see all of your favorite country music stars on the CMA Awards Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ABC7.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.