CMT taps hip hop icon Nelly as first rapper to headline critically-acclaimed music series “CMT Crossroads”


Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Blanco Brown & BRELAND join “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends,” premiering Wednesday, September 1st at 10p/9c

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NASHVILLE -- (August 17, 2021) -- CMT today revealed double diamond, 3XGrammy-award winning rapper Nelly will headline an upcoming installment of the iconic music series, CMT CROSSROADS. Joined by longtime friends and collaborators Florida Georgia Line, Kane BrownBlanco Brown and BRELAND, “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” will premiere Wednesday, September 1st at 10p/9c exclusively on CMT

A true genre-bending artist, Nelly makes his Crossroads debut as the series’ first hip hop headliner. The rap superstar first burst onto the country scene with “Over and Over,” his groundbreaking duet with Tim McGraw in 2004 which made history charting on multiple charts including the Rhythmic, Adult Top 40 and Hot Rap.

Nelly continues to bring country music influences into his unique cross-format blend of music. Later this month, he’s slated to release his new country-inspiredHeartland project, his first new album since 2013 dropping on August 27th. Nelly recently released his second single from the album, “High Horse” featuringBlanco Brown BRELAND, plus teased a new song with “Cool Again” collaborator Kane Brown. The EP’s first single, “Lil Bit” with Florida Georgia Line was just awarded RIAA PLATINUM certification and follows their DIAMOND collaboration “Cruise” (BMLG Records). 

Shared Nelly: “I’m excited to celebrate my music with my friends and fellow artists on Crossroads! When people talk about me crossing lines and genres, I think about it more that music brings folks together.”

The 60-minute “CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” special will feature new music from Heartland alongside high-energy performances of Nelly’s biggest chart topping hits, including a few surprises celebrating the 20th anniversary of hit Country Grammar. In addition to Nelly, this marks first-time appearances from Kane Brown, Blanco Brown and BRELAND on the Crossroads stage; Florida Georgia Line returns to the legendary stage after teaming up with Backstreet Boys for a much-acclaimed episode in 2017.

CMT Crossroads” shows the far-reaching roots of country music by pairing country artists with musicians from other genres. Each episode features a different set of stars playing together, swapping stories and sharing their common love of music. The series debuted January 13, 2002 with Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams and since has showcased dream musical partnerships including Ray Charles and Travis Tritt; Bon Jovi and Sugarland; Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire; Def Leppard and Taylor Swift; Sting and Vince Gill; John Mayer and Keith Urban; Mumford & Sons and Emmylou Harris; Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood; Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum; Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves; Alicia Keys and Maren Morris; Halsey and Kelsea Ballerini, and most recently, Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price, to name a few.

CMT Crossroads: Nelly & Friends” is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin. The Executives in Charge of Production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino. Leslie Fram is Executive in Charge of Talent; Shanna Strassberg is Talent Producer. 

For more information, visit, check out CMT Crossroads on Facebook & YouTube and use the hashtag #CMTcrossroads.


About CMT:CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital ( and social (@CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit

About Nelly:
Global Entertainer, Double Diamond Certified, Multi-platinum, 3x Grammy award-winning rap superstar, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor, Nelly, has continually raised the bar for the entertainment industry since stepping on the scene in 2000 with his distinctive vocals and larger-than-life personality. 2021 brings the 20th anniversary of Country Grammar and the release of new single “Lil Bit” featuring Florida Georgia Line with a country inspired Album to follow entitled, Heartland. Additionally, Nelly has secured a firm place in Americas hearts through his time on Dancing with the Stars and most recently secured a movie role in “Clear Lake” playing Chuck Berry. 2022 is the 20th anniversary of Nellyville while “Dilemma” just hit 1 billion views and “Lil Bit” just received platinum certification. Heartland drops August 27th and its second single “High Horse” debuts on Good Morning America August 6th with follow up performance on Jimmy Kimmel then Kelly Clarkson. Nelly has just begun filming Real Husbands of Hollywood and is touring the country performing his biggest hits and his new country inspired album Heartland.

Nelly’s Country Grammar album and his song Cruise with FGL both achieved Diamond status in 2016. Nelly also added sports commentator to his list of accomplishments with Fox Sports which makes him one of few actors with three television shows airing at one time. In 2016, Nelly was featured in an unique opportunity to perform alongside the country’s most prestigious orchestras including St. Louis, Columbus and Pittsburgh garnering great reviews.  Nelly has performed on NBC’s The Voice, The American Music Awards, ABC’s Greatest Hits and served as a judge on CW’s The Next. Just some of his its include: “Hot in Here” – “Dilemma” [feat. Kelly Rowland] “Country Grammar” “Ride Wit Me” “Just a Dream”– “Cruise” reached diamond status, “The Fix” sampling Marvin Gaye, and summer sixteens dance anthem “Millionaire” with Cash Cash and Digital Animal Farm.   The music mogul has also left his mark in other aspects of the industry, introducing his hugely successful women’s clothing line, Apple Bottoms and is part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats with Michael Jordan.  In 2005, he made his big screen debut in the Adam Sandler and Chris Rock hit remake, The Longest Yard and in starred in Reach Me with Sylvester Stone 2014.  Currently he supports Make a Wish and is the only rapper/music artist to own his own college, EI University, which provides education surrounding the music industry while Nelly himself provides scholarships.He has been referred to by Peter Shapiro as "one of the biggest stars of the new millennium",[3] and the RIAA ranks Nelly as the fourth best-selling rap artist in American music history,[4] with 21 million albums sold in the United States. On December 11, 2009, Billboardranked Nelly the number three Top Artist of the Decade.

Press Contacts 
For CMT - Ali Marszalkowski, Ali.Marszalkowski@viacomcbs.comFor Nelly - Juliette Harris, 
For Blanco Brown - Jay Jones, + Quinn Kaemmer, 
For Kane Brown
 - Jennifer Vessio, jennifer.g.vessio@gmail.comFor Florida Georgia Line & BRELAND -  Jensen Sussman, 


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