CMT Artists of the Year Host Ron White Calls Tim McGraw, Faith Hill “Real Good Folks”

You wouldn’t expect a comedian to say something so kind, but Tim McGraw must have really impressed Ron White.

“I sat at a blackjack table for hours one night in Vegas with Tim,” White told me when he called me to talk about the CMT Artists of the Year special he’s hosting Tuesday (Dec. 3) in Nashville. “He talked to every single person that walked up. Both he and Faith are just really good about interacting with the fans. They’re real good folks.”

McGraw is just one of the artists to be honored during the Artists of the Year special. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes and Florida Georgia Line are on the list, too.

White grew up listening to rock music in Texas, but once he started listening to country music, he started loving George Jones, Dwight Yoakam and Travis Tritt. What he loves the most about CMT’s five honorees this year is how good they are to their fans.

“It’s very cool to see how they treat their fans and how loyal their fans are to them,” White said.

And while he may poke a little fun at each artist during the live celebration, he said he’s not going to do too much preparation for the show. The jokes may just come to him throughout the night.

“If you overthink it, it gets to be not much fun,” he explained. “And I need to have some latitude to go one way or the other.”

As for the signature cigar and Scotch he keeps with him onstage during his stand-up shows, he assured me he’s not to change a thing Tuesday night.

“That’s my brand,” he said.

CMT Artists of the Year premieres live Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CMT and CMT.com.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.