The 2017 CMT Awards, set to air June 7 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, are promising to serve up a whopping — and surprising — evening of multi-genre talent, with a variety of unexpected artist duets and collaborations. One of the most highly anticipated is that of Luke Bryan and Jason Derulo, who are take the stage together again, just one year after they participated in CMT’s Crossroads mash-up series in May 2016.
Derulo and Bryan, who both got their start in the music industry as songwriters, have a longstanding admiration for each other’s work — as well as just a good old fashioned kinship. During a break rehearsing for the show, the pair enthused mostly about how much fun they plan to have when reunited on stage.
“You’re going to see two friends up there doing what they love to do,” said Bryan. “We’re just excited we get to get back together and cut up a little bit.”
For those who might be surprised that pop stalwart Derulo has his feet in the country world, the singer explains that he’s always been a fan of the genre — and, in fact, has had a hankering to grace the CMT stage for a while. “I’m so pumped to be part of the CMTs,” he enthused. “To be inducted as kind of like one of the cousins — it’s really fly!
“I’m going to continue to do more in this world because it’s a passion of mine, and I really do enjoy it,” he added.
While both artists bring considerable star power in their own rights, there’s one area Bryan has no trouble conceding to Derulo, and that’s who’s a better dancer. “He holds back around me, because he knows at any given moment he could just thrash me,” laughed Bryan.
Check out all the 2017 CMT Awards nominees, performers, and more behind-the-scenes action here.