“I can tell you, I just pulled a muscle in rehearsal,” he said after preparing for Wednesday’s (June 4) show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. “I’ve got a little trick up my sleeve, but it’s painful. It’s going down, though. It’s gonna be a party.”
Although he’s still a relative newcomer, Gilbert has attended quite a few awards shows after scoring hits such as “Country Must Be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and his latest, “Bottoms Up,” which he’ll be performing on the CMT Music Awards.
“I love it. The CMT Awards are a little more laid-back than the rest of them. I’m still shooting for worst-dressed,” he said.
Asked about his fashion choices, the Georgia native also joked about the ball cap and camouflage shirt he wore during his awards show rehearsal.
“I’m either wearing this or sweatpants when I’m in the bus,” he said. “Those are, like, my pajamas. It doesn’t really vary a whole lot. … I like black. It always matches. I ride my motorcycle in the same thing I play shows in. That’s the same thing I’m gonna show up in here, too.”
“It would be kind of weird for my folks back home and my close friends to see me walk out in a three piece suit. That ain’t me.”
Gilbert said the CMT Music Awards inspire artists to take their performances to an even higher level than usual.
“I always look forward to the performances,” he said. “Little bitty things happen in every one. People go through a whole lot of effort to make these performances stand out even above their live shows. It’s always fun to watch.”
Others performing during the show include Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Jake Owen, Jennifer Nettles, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Lee Ann Womack, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert.
“I think it’s gonna be a good time with everybody involved,” Gilbert said. “When people come from different genres of music, it just makes for a bigger party. As long as we’re keeping it country, I’m cool with it.”