Ashley McBryde: Charlie Daniels Was ‘One of Our First Rockstars’
Ashley McBryde couldn't help but be influenced by Charlie Daniels, so when the Country Music Association asked her to take part in a performance in the late country legend's honor during Wednesday night's (Nov. 11) 2020 CMA Awards, she jumped at the opportunity.
"I've been listening to his music since I was a kiddo, so of course I said yes," McBryde shared ahead of the annual awards show, "... and when you've been listening to country music your whole life and you're my age, there's zero percent chance of you not being influenced by Charlie Daniels, especially from a rock 'n' roll standpoint."
McBryde, born in 1983, is young enough to consider "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" — Daniels' only No. 1 song — a country classic, but old enough to remember firsthand some of Daniels' '80s heyday. "He was one of our first, like, rockstar-rockstars," she points out.
While Daniels never found much chart success beyond "The Devil ...," he earned a reputation as a talented musician and philanthropic-minded artist. When he died in early July, at the age of 83, he was mourned as an icon.
"Great songs have long legs," McBryde says of Daniels' legacy, "and they find you."
McBryde, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne and reigning CMA Musician of the Year Jenee Fleenor will team up for the multi-song tribute to Daniels, which will open the 2020 CMA Awards. McBryde is also set to perform her own recent single, "One Night Standards," and teases a third, surprise performance.
"They've told me I can't say what, and I can't say what I'm wearing," she hints. "I think it's gonna be fun. I think it's a fun thing that we're having surprises, 'cause there's some stuff that I don't know about either."
The reigning CMA New Artist of the Year, McBryde is nominated at the 2020 CMA Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Musical Event of the Year.
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