Darius Rucker Brings Some ‘Beers and Sunshine’ to the 2020 CMA Awards
2020 CMA Awards co-host Darius Rucker took a break from his hosting duties during the show on Wednesday night (Nov. 11) to hit the stage to perform a feel-good rendition of his new single, "Beers and Sunshine."
Sporting a burnt orange corduroy jacket with a bright white T-shirt underneath, Rucker ended up taking the stage solo for the performance that was scheduled to include the sweet harmonies of Lady A. However, just one hour before the show was scheduled to start, the country trio served up the news that a family member had been exposed to COVID-19, causing them to make the tough decision to stay home from the awards show just to be safe. Rucker seemed to take the last minute cancellation in stride, flashing that bright smile to the camera at the end of the lively performance.
Rucker's new single shares a playful message of cutting through the bad kind of B.S. in order to get to the good kind: "Beers and Sunshine," that is. The song leans toward the silver lining of what's been a difficult year, both on a global level and personally: Rucker and his wife, Beth, announced in July that they are calling it quits after 20 years of marriage.
Following the August release of his new single, Rucker has been hinting that he's got a new full-length project in the works, and that it just might be his most personal batch of music to date.
Nevertheless, it was a bummer that Rucker and Lady A couldn't collaborate on the CMA Awards stage, because they've worked together many times in the past. Most recently, the two acts co-headlined the 2018 Summer Plays On Tour. Rucker's 8X Platinum 2012 single "Wagon Wheel" also features Lady A on backing vocals.
Despite their absence, Lady A are still among the nominees for Vocal Group of the Year. They've been nominated in that category every year since 2008, and have won the trophy three times (in '09, '10 and '11.) But a win in 2020 would mean the band's first Vocal Group victory in nine years, as first Little Big Town, then Old Dominion, have maintained a firm hold on the title in recent history.
For his part, Rucker is a first-time co-host at the 2020 CMA Awards, alongside Reba McEntire. They're taking on the hosting gig after a decade-plus-long tradition of Carrie Underwood leading the night, usually with Brad Paisley at her side.
His "Beers and Sunshine" performance isn't the only time Rucker's pulling double duty at Wednesday night's show. He and his co-host McEntire are also teaming up for a special performance of "In the Ghetto," penned by the late Mac Davis, who died this year.