Country artists Zac Brown, Elle King, Sam Hunt out of New Year’s TV special due to ‘COVID-19 safety protocols’

Entertainment

Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band, seen here in Feb. 2020, said Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19. (Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for Entercom)

(WKBN) – Several country music acts will no longer be performing at a live New Year’s Eve special due to COVID-19 protocols.

The artists — Zac Brown Band, Sam Hunt and Elle King — were all scheduled to perform during “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash,” to be broadcast on CBS on New Year’s Eve.

Zac Brown announced the news on his Instagram page Thursday, confirming he tested positive for COVID-19.

“Despite taking precautions, I’ve tested positive for COVID-19,” Brown wrote. “While we were very excited to join the incredible line up [sic] of artists and millions of amazing fans tuning in to watch, our #1 priority is the safety and well-being of our fans, band, crew and venue staff. We’re looking forward to great things ahead and seeing you all on our tour next year.”

On Thursday evening, organizers said Sam Hunt and Elle King would also not be appearing. An announcement from the city’s Visit Nashville tourism website only said the lineup changes were made in accordance with “COVID-19 safety protocols.”

The five-hour CBS broadcast, airing Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. EST, will be hosted by Bobby Bones and “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Rachel Smith. Performers on the main stage at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park event include Dierks Bentley, Lady A, BRELAND, among others.

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