Eric Church brings his own surprise to CMT Awards

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Most performers promote their latest single on awards shows. Not Eric Church.

Mainstream country's hardest rocker is inviting Lzzy Hale of Halestorm to appear with him on the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night for a performance of album track "That's Damn Rock & Roll" — not his current single or recent No. 1 hit.

Church says "it makes sense to do something different" on award shows and the performance with Hale will continue a string of unique approaches on awards shows recently.

Church's hard-rock team-up isn't the only mash-up. Jason Derulo will join fellow pop stars Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and an unnamed guest to kick off the show, airing live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.

John Legend will also perform.

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