Stars Return to Texas for iHeartRadio Country Festival

Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker Host Saturday’s All-Star Concert in Austin

If anyone can lead a massive music festival featuring Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, The Band Perry, Sam Hunt and Tyler Farr, it’s Jennifer Nettles and Darius Rucker.

Nettles and Rucker have been tapped to host the 2015 iHeartRadio Country Festival, taking place Saturday (May 2) at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, and a more perfect pair of hosts couldn’t have been picked.

The two have worked together before, including a collaboration at the CMA Country Christmas TV special in Nashville in 2011. (That’s why there’s a Christmas tree in the background of the photo.)

Nettles is no stranger to high-profile hosting gig, and with her quick-wit and southern charm, she’s more than ready to take on this challenge. As for Rucker, the gig is an opportunity for him to put a hidden skill set to good use. At least, for me as a fan, it’s a hidden skill set. Did you know he was a budding sports commentator when he was in college?

“Growing up in South Carolina, I would lay in bed at night listening to all kinds of music and commentary from DJs on the air,” he said. “It actually led me to go into sports broadcasting in college, so I have always wanted an opportunity to try my skills at being one of those commentators.”

Who knew, right? So this moment is an exciting one for him as well.

“I can’t think of a better opportunity to talk directly to the fans — and bring them some great music — than co-hosting this fantastic night with some really awesome friends,” he said.

You can watch a live stream of the iHeartRadio Country Festival on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET at www.yahoo.com/iheartcountry. The event will also air May 27 as a two-hour special on NBC.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.