Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Added to CMT Music Awards

The CMT Music Awards are getting a dose of rock and roll with a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute.

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In honor of the 50th anniversary of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s groundbreaking debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), which was released in 1973, a series of rock music legends are teaming up with country artists to perform a tribute to the iconic band. Slash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Allman Brothers Band members Warren Haynes and Chuck Leavell, and former Free lead singer Raul Rodgers are the rock royalty performing alongside country superstars Cody Johnson, Wynonna Judd and LeAnn Rimes. The latter two artists will perform as The Honkettes, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s background vocalists.

Upon its release in August 1973, Pronounced set the stage for the band’s legendary status, as it features their signature hits “Free Bird,” “Gimme Three Steps” and “Simple Man.” When guitarist Gary Rossington died in March 2023 at the age of 71, he became the last original member to pass away. Rossington’s wife Dale Krantz Rossington is expected to attend the awards show, along with current Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlock. Van Zant is the brother of the original lead singer and co-founder, Ronnie Van Zant.

Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini will co-host the CMT Music Awards airing live from the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday (April 2). The two hosts, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Lainey Wilson and Keith Urban are among the other performers.

There will be a series of collaborations taking place, including Alanis Morissette with Wilson, Ingrid Andress, Morgan Wade and Madeline Edwards to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the CMT Next Women of Country program. Gwen Stefani also will perform with Carly Pearce, and The Black Crowes will team up with Darius Rucker. Shania Twain will be honored with the Equal Play Award.

The show will air at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and will be available to stream live on Paramount+.

Photo by Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images

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