Lynyrd Skynyrd Rocks CMA Fest With “Sweet Home Alabama”

Photo by R. Diamond/Getty Images

This year’s CMA Fest wowed attendees with a stellar lineup of artists delivering some truly unexpected performances. The weekend was filled with unforgettable moments, including surprise collaborations like Post Malone and Blake Shelton debuting a new song together, and Ashley McBryde teaming up with Gretchen Wilson to offer a fresh twist on a beloved classic.

Adding to the incredible weekend, legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd graced the main stage at Nissan Stadium, bringing down the house as they closed out the festival’s opening night on June 6. Their set featured a collection of their greatest hits, including the timeless anthem “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Originally written in response to Neil Young’s “Alabama” and “Southern Man,” “Sweet Home Alabama” has since become a rock classic. It reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1974, becoming the band’s highest-charting single to date.

But Lynyrd Skynyrd’s CMA Fest performance didn’t stop there. Their setlist also included fan favorites like “What’s Your Name,” “That Smell,” “The Ballad of Curtis Loew,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and “Simple Man.” The evening’s highlight came when they invited fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top on stage for a rendition of “They Call Me The Breeze.”

 

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About Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd started in 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida, and became very popular in the 1970s with hits like “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird,” and “Simple Man.” The band’s original members included Ronnie Van Zant (singer), Gary Rossington (guitar), Allen Collins (guitar), Larry Junstrom (bass), and Bob Burns (drums).

In 1977, the band faced a terrible tragedy when a plane crash killed Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines. Despite this, the band got back together in 1987 with Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s brother, as the lead singer. They continued to make music and tour, keeping their strong fan base.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has been honored in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and remains a key figure in Southern rock music.

Their iconic performance was featured during the CMA Fest TV special, which aired on ABC on Tuesday, June 25 at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT. You can watch the official video of their performance below!

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