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The Ladies of Country Music Help Launch the 50th Edition of CMA Fest in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Rising star Lainey Wilson opened the 50th edition of CMA FEST to a standing room only crowd on the Cumberland River on Thursday, June 8, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. Wilson was off to a flying start as the Blue Angles did an impressive fly-by over the assembled and excited country music fans. The Louisiana native was also scheduled to take the stage later in the week at Nissan Stadium in addition to sharing hosting duties with fellow favorites Dierks Bentley and Elle King for a televised presentation of the festivities airing in July.

Rising star Lainey Wilson opened the 50th edition of CMA FEST.

Up next, we found the spunky and sassy RaeLynn doing her thing on the Dr. Pepper Amp Stage set up near the Ascend Amphitheater. There was a big turnout of her fans to see the one-time contestant on the second season of The Voice who was mentored by Blake Shelton. She credited the "Ole Red" singer from the stage as being a big reason as to where she is today - playing Nashville as an established country icon with three full length albums under her belt.

RaeLynn was feisty and spunky during her early morning showcase.

Rounding out our discoveries for the day was powerful singer Canadian Meghan Patrick on the Chevy Vibes Stage. Pillbox Patti - otherwise known as songwriter Nicolette Hayford was prescribing a strong dose of truth-telling on the Maui Jim Reverb Stage. Over on the Spotlight Stage at Fan Fair X we found the stunning American Idol alum Grace Leer who was hard to take our eyes off of - and she is one to keep your eyes on! Finally, on Broadway we found our friend Izabel Gray working several steamy sets up on the rooftop stage at the aptly named The Stage.

Meghan Patrick is a Country Music star in Canada.

"What a weekend! As we've spent the past year reflecting on this milestone celebration, one theme has persisted-the incredible connection between Country Music fans and the artists," said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer about the record breaking attendance at this Golden Jubilee occasion that welcomed more than 90,000 estimated daily attendees for a 12% growth over 2022. "It's magical because it still matters after all these years. From first timers to legends, so many artists started as fans - some as far back as Fan Fair. Almost every artist who performs during the festival has had their own experience as a fan. So, for many of them taking the stage at CMA Fest is a full circle moment. We only get the chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary once, and to do so in such an impactful way has meant the world to us. Thank you, Country Music!"

Izabel Gray, Pillbox Patti and Grace Leer were all doing their thing on CMA opening day.

Next year's CMA Fest will take place in Nashville Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9, 2024. You can sign up for CMA Country Connection emails at to be the first to know about ticket on-sale dates - and don't miss "CMA Fest" - the three-hour primetime television special hosted by Bentley, King and Wilson, that will air on Wednesday, July 19 at 8/7c on ABC. text

CMA Fest celebrated a major milestone in 2023. Can you say let's have 50 more!

Related Links: For more information on CMA FEST and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - CMA Fest | Country Music and Pickleball Mania Come Together at CMA Fest in Nashville


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