This year, we lost the greatest country singer of all-time -- the late great George Jones, who once said, "I love country music and I love the people that respond to it." I can't sing anything like George Jones - or even Grace Jones for that matter -- but I feel exactly the same way about country music, and I always have responded to it since my parents took me to see my very first concert -- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at Carnegie Hall with an opening act named Steve Martin. For over a decade now, I've been honored to work as a writer for The CMA Awards. Tonight, I hope you will all watch The 47th Annual CMA Awards on ABC hosted by two of my favorite people -- Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. Here are ten reasons to tune in for Country Music's Biggest Night:
1) George Jones will be remembered with a duet by two of country's living legends -- George Strait and Alan Jackson.
2) Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert will duet on TV for the first time, and if their performance is even half as good on air as it was in rehearsal, it will be a moment to remember.
3) Taylor Swift takes a song millions know and love all around the world and makes you hear it in a whole new way in a gorgeous version that finds her joined by two of music's finest singer and players anywhere, Alison Krauss and Vince Gill.
4) The most charming man in rock and most overachieving drummer in history Dave Grohl makes his big CMA debut jamming on a new song with Zac Brown Band.
5) Carrie Underwood. I've worked with Carrie for six years now, and she is without a doubt one of the loveliest and most talented individuals I've encountered in this sometime challenging business of show. Beyond being an amazing host, Carrie will also be singing a medley four - count 'em four - of her recent #1 country hits -- which is precisely four more than I have.
6) Brad Paisley. This man ought to write a book. Oh yeah, he did - Diary Of A Player that I was very proud to write with him. Brad is the funniest, smartest and most tireless guitar god who I know and love, and if you want proof of the player he is, just watch his performance tonight.
7) Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts will honor Kenny Rogers who has been a star in country music -- and beyond -- for about half a century.
8) A shared musical moment from two big breakout success stories of the past year -- Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line.
9) One of the most acclaimed young singer-songwriter in recent country history -- Kacey Musgraves -- as well as a totally charming duet by the wildly talented Hunter Hayes with one of his own musical influences, Jason Mraz.
10) Big performances by true superstar acts like Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and a blistering turn by Eric Church, as well as by great groups like Little Big Town, The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum.
I don't care what country you are from -- or what age or color you are. If you love good songs, and the people who love those good song, I think you will want to be a part of Country Music's Biggest Night.