From left: Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip...

From left: Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet, of the group Little Big Town, arrive at the 2013 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (June 5, 2013) Credit: AP

The Country Music Association is so television-connected these days, if it's given you an award, chances are good it will call on you again.

Little Big Town now knows that for a fact. The reigning vocal group of the year after last fall's CMA Awards, the foursome that recently scored its second platinum-selling album ("Tornado") presides over the annual ABC special "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" (Monday night at 8). Taped in June during a four-day Nashville event, the 10th-anniversary edition sends its hosts around the city to interview artists and introduce performances.

"We had such a good time," Little Big Town member Karen Fairchild -- who's married to bandmate Jimi Westbrook -- says of doing the program. "A year ago, we wouldn't have dreamed of getting the chance to host this, and what a great experience it was. There's no energy in the world like the energy when you step out to sing or host there. Or do anything there."

Among the many other talents featured in the ABC telecast: Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, spouses Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, Zac Brown Band, the Band Perry, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Kellie Pickler and Kacey Musgraves. Also included are several stars not necessarily considered "country": Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Jason Mraz.

Notable on the bill, too, is a friend of Little Big Town: nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, who releases her first country album, "Feels Like Home," on Sept. 10. It already has yielded the single "Easy," and on the special, she teams with the members of Little Big Town on a mash-up of her "Soak Up the Sun" and their "Pontoon."

"I'm a huge fan of theirs," Crow says, confirming she first got to know band member Kimberly Schlapman because their children go to the same play place. "We sit in a circle and sing with our kids, and that is what Nashville is like. It's a great place to raise kids and to be an artist . . . and to be surrounded by people who are keeping it real," she says.

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