Thomas Rhett brought fans to the country with his performance on the CMA Country Christmas special this week, performing his holiday original "Christmas in the Country." Bounding down the stairs of the special's living room set, Rhett picked up a white guitar to sing his joy-infused song about spending the holidays at his family farm. As he sang, his wife, Lauren Akins, who was co-hosting the special alongside him, looked on from beside a fireplace.
"I’m performing a song that I released last Christmas called ‘Christmas In The Country,’ and I wrote it because we spend all of our Christmases out at our farm and it truly is very magical," he said ahead of the show. "We get to see the barn lit up, we put a big Christmas tree in the barn and everything that song says is very autobiographical to what our Christmas looks like, we just love Christmas time and love getting to spend it in the country."
Rhett and Akins hosted CMA Country Christmas for the first time this year, and other performers included Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Lady A, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Darius Rucker with Lindsey Stirling.
The 30-year-old initially released "Christmas in the Country" in 2019 along with a cover of "The Christmas Song" and shared at the time that Akins was the inspiration behind his holiday releases.
"Christmas is hands-down my favorite time of year," Rhett said in a statement last holiday season. "We have so many Christmas traditions in our family that include a lot of festive music, but I’ve never recorded anything myself. Lauren has wanted me to make some Christmas music for a long time, so this year felt like the right time to finally take a stab at writing something and to put my own twist on one of the all-time classics."
He also told PEOPLE that "My wife’s been on me to record a Christmas album or EP for a long time. And so we went in the studio and I recorded a classic and then I wrote an original," he said, explaining that it's "kind of impossible to write a classic."0comments
"You just hope that it’s cool enough to survive one year and maybe it’ll get played next year," he shared. "I think my dream in life would be to write a classic Christmas song that gets played until my kids are older."
Rhett and Akins share three daughters, Willa Gray, Ada James and Lennon Love, all of whom made an appearance during CMA Country Christmas.