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Rodney Atkins Hosts Fourth Annual Music City Gives Back Concert

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Rodney Atkins likes to help kick off CMA Fest with a bang. The singer asks big country artists to join him for a benefit concert in the heart of Nashville and this year Atkins was joined by headliner Lee Brice, Dustin Lynch, Jana Kramer and Josh Thompson.

Atkins asked his four country music friends to join him for a concert that benefits W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville. The school helps get music to children in low-income families who otherwise might not be able to afford music instruction. The faculty and teachers work on a volunteer basis and the lessons only cost 50 cents a pop. The instruments are loaned out to the students learning — free of charge.

Thompson kicked off Tuesday (June 3) night’s show as the sun was setting over Nashville. As soon as he brought his red solo cup on stage, the crowd was ready to party. Although he performed rather early, fans sang and danced along to his new single ‘Wanted Me Gone.’ He took things up a notch with the title track from his new album, ‘Turn It Up’ before ending with ‘Cold Beer With Your Name On It.’ Thompson’s fans were excited to see him — new ‘do and all.

Kramer was next, donning all dark colors for the occasion but showing off her tan legs in shorts. She sang her newest single ‘Love’ and let the crowd know that she truly does still believe in love. Kramer made one fan’s day by taking their camera mid-song and snapping a quick selfie of herself with an enthusiastic crowd in the background. Fans were left to speculate who she was referring to when she started ‘I Hope It Rains’ by saying she wants it to rain on “every one” of her “crappy ex-boyfriends.”

Lynch got the already excited crowd ready for more country music just in time for CMA Fest. He wore his big signature cowboy hat and jeans for a hot Nashville night, and he even had a surprise for fans!  Justin Moore joined him on stage and the two played ‘Backwoods’ right in the middle of Broadway — to a very enthusiastic crowd. Moore looked casual without his cowboy hat. Instead he wore an Atlanta Braves ball cap and black jacket.

Although Atkins hosted the event, he didn’t headline it this year. He took the stage next and brought a light show with him. Atkins took the stage in denim on denim and rocked out on the guitar for his country lovin’ fans. He played fan favorites like ‘Long Way Home’ and ‘Cleaning This Gun,’ which fans sang back to the tall singer. Atkins also had a surprise for fans — he asked his wife, Rose Falcon, to join him on stage to sing.

The night’s headliner took the stage last and although it was late, fans stayed to see Brice.  He opened his set with ‘That’s When You Know It’s Over’ before really getting the party started. He played ‘Beer’ and ‘Love Like Crazy’ before letting the crowd know he’d have a new album this September and he even played ‘Drinking Class’ from it. The Music City Gives Back crowd was in for even more of a treat because then he asked friends Jerrod Niemann and Tyler Farr to join him on stage for a country classic, ‘Family Tradition,’ but it wouldn’t be a Brice party without a little ‘Parking Lot Party’ and the two musicians joined him for that song which was a big end to a big event.

Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Next: See Rodney Atkins' Wedding Video

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