Luke Bryan Teases Surprise Guests For His CMA Awards Performance (Exclusive)

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Luke Bryan is gearing up to give a performance for the ages!

ET caught up with the 42-year-old country singer ahead of the 52nd annual Country Music Association Awards, which air Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. on ABC. It's sure to be a big night for Bryan, who's nominated for Entertainer of the Year and set to open the show with a performance of his newest single, "What Makes You Country." 

"I am playing electric guitar in the front, which I have never done under this pressure," Bryan teased of the performance. "You always got to do a little something to keep you on your toes."

"We have some very special guests coming out, some of country's newest rising stars, up and coming artists," he added. "I thought it would be a great start to the award show, to get some of these new, fresh faces out here with me. It's going to be a fun surprise."

For Bryan, it's a "privilege" to open the show, especially with a song that's so indicative of who he is. 

"As far as what makes me country, quite a few things: rural upbringings, small town living, small town family, small town in-laws, just a lot of small towns, peanuts, down in south Georgia, country music, cold beer, football, and hopefully a humbled heart."

While he wouldn't spill the beans about who will be joining him on stage, he did reveal someone he'd love to collaborate with -- his fellow American Idol judge, Lionel Richie.

"Lionel and I, we've done a lot of collaborations together on TV, we've won a CMT award together... but it would be a dream come true to be on something with Lionel one of these days," Bryan said. "If we can ever slow down... we may sit down and try write a little something."

Following the performance, Bryan will focus on being a nominee for the night's big award, which he previously took home in both in 2014 and 2015.

"It always feels amazing. It's always very humbling," he said of the nomination. "Being up for Entertainer of the Year, it's kind of like a tribute to my whole band, my crew, my people on the road, my family, my wife, my boys. They have to allow me to go be the Entertainer of the Year or to be an Entertainer of the Year nominee. It's just a fun, all encompassing nomination." 

As for his fellow nominees -- Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban -- Bryan only has lovely things to say about them.

"It's just an amazing group of guys that work hard, that go out there and give their all every night," he said. "It's fun to be in these categories with these guys that [are] out spreading the country love, night in and night out on stage."

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are set to host the show -- as they have since 2008 -- and Bryan has total confidence in the pair.

"I think just how they represent country music. Brad and Carrie have done such a great job through the years of bringing comedy to this thing, making light of things that you know could get real stressful. They have always done such a great job," he gushed. "... I know they have worked for months on this thing... leading up to the show and it always shows. They always do such a great job at roasting us people down there."

Here's more with Bryan:

 

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