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5 CMA Awards Rumors (and the Likelihood They’ll Happen)

CMA-Rumors
Michael Loccisano / Kevin Winter, Rick Diamond, Getty Images

You can’t keep a secret in Nashville unless, it seems, it has to do with the 2017 CMA Awards show open. No one will leak a detail about what is sure to be a monumental opening sequence. Well, almost nobody.

A few people (Reba McEntire, Lady Antebellum) confirmed they’re a part of the opening number, and at least one artist indicated to ToC that it’s the equivalent of a theatrical all-call. Another artist we won’t name told us about another performer who is sure bring tears early. Other than that? We’re kind of guessing.

Here are five rumors we’ve heard (and worked to confirm) leading up to the 2017 CMA Awards.

5. Keith Urban Performs With Pink, Wife Nicole Kidman or Cookie Monster

OK, we made up Cookie Monster, but Keith Urban‘s 2017 CMA Awards performance of “Female” is rumored to be taking place with a variety of artists. The Pink rumors seemingly have no merit, as we’ve been told she’ll sing her own song “Barbie.” But chatter that Urban and his wife will sing together stems from a belief that she sings with him on the studio cut of “Female.”

Urban says the backing vocals are a mix of female voices (co-writer Nicolle Galyon has taken credit for being one of them), so maybe the mother of his children will step up to the mic? It would be a special moment, but we’re only putting the likelihood at 30 percent.

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4. Eddie Montgomery Returns to the CMA Awards Stage

We’ll say there is an 80 percent chance of this happening, as a reliable source tells us he’s part of the show’s opening sequence. Initially that was thought to be about the Las Vegas shootings, with an insinuation being a tribute to the late Montgomery Gentry singer Troy Gentry would come later. Either way, we like the chances of seeing Eddie on TV on Wednesday night. Our suspicion is aided by a Wednesday afternoon announcement of the next Montgomery Gentry album.

3. Carrie Underwood Announces New Music, or a Baby?

Host Brad Paisley says Carrie Underwood‘s performance will steal the show. She insists the performance is not about her. What does that mean!? It’s seemingly been forever since Underwood signed with Capitol Records, and you know they’re itching to release something that recoups that investment. For reasons of commerce we say yes, this will happen during the 2017 CMA Awards. But don’t bet the house on it. The chances seem to be hovering around 65 percent that she’ll perform a new song.

As for the baby? It’s a really tempting thought because she’s used the CMA stage to share mommy matters before. If Underwood is pregnant, she isn’t trying to cover it. During a Sunday night press conference to kick off CMA week the singer wore a sheer black romper that was form-fitting. Although, it was black, and that is a very slimming shade, right? We’ll set these chances at 5 percent.

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2. Sam Hunt Will Debut New Music

Keith Urban just released a new song, and we’re betting on Underwood doing the same. Sam Hunt is part of the same record label group, and it feels like dropping three new high-profile jams would spread resources too thin during an important part of the year for retailers and labels.

Plus Hunt has the Single of the Year (perhaps only unofficially, we shall see) with “Body Like a Back Road.” There’s no way he gets out of there without singing it. We put the chance of CMA viewers hearing brand new music from Hunt at just 10 percent.

1. Taylor Swift Returns to the CMA Awards!!!

There is a 90 percent chance of this happening. She’s got country ties and a new album out on Friday. The CMA Awards love that big pop star mashup that has everyone talking the next day. A Taylor moment is shaping up to be this year’s Beyonce moment, or Justin Timberlake before that.

If she performs, she’ll share the stage with Little Big Town singing the LBT hit song she wrote “Better Man” and one of her own. There’s a formula for this now, which is unfortunate, but inevitable. We’re not mad about it. Love you, Tay Tay!

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