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In a year filled with more inclusivity, CMA Fest returns to Nashville

New Black country music stars fit right in
Country music artist Shaboozey performs at the 2024 CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee (Video screenshot via: YouTube - the615house)

After a year of more inclusion shown within the genre, this year’s Country Music Awards were held in Nashville, Tennessee, from June 6-9. The awards show’s week includes the CMA Fest.

The June 6 lineup included Shaboozey, the 29-year-old from Fairfax, Virginia, who is now a  platinum-recording artist thanks to his single “A Bar Song (Tipsy).”

In addition to Shaboozey, fresher acts within the genre like Rvshvd, Tanner Adell and duo The War and Treaty have also made a load of noise as Black artists in the space. Adell and Shaboozey were featured on Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter album. Brittney Spencer, Tiera Nelson, Reyna Roberts and Willie Jones were other Black country artists featured on the album.

“I hope there are young people watching this who have an interest in this, will continue to carry this sound and we’re paving the way right now,” Adell said on “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”

CMA Fest was the first time Adell performed in a stadium.

Shaboozey was also excited to perform in front of thousands of fans.

“I thought, ‘Man, this is really exciting to play in front of a lot of folks on Broadway,'” Shaboozey said in an interview with Audacy Music. “There’s a lot of history over here with the Ryhman [Auditorium] and my favorite spot, Robert’s [Western World]. We go to Robert’s a lot, so for some of my friends to see me go from coming here and nobody knowing me to thousands of people being outside is pretty surreal.”

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