Nelly Closes CMT Awards Performing With Florida Georgia Line

Nelly was right at home during the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night (June 5) when he joined Florida Georgia Line  in the final minutes of the show to deliver his verse on their anthem “Cruise.”

Before he hit the stage Nelly explained that he’d always been a fan of the music and was looking forward to bringing the energy during his performance. “I’ve always had a spot in my heart for country music,” he said. “People know that. If you’ve been a fan of Nelly for a long time, you’ve definitely heard my music, you’ve heard a lot of my collaborations. From the beginning with Tim McGraw and moving things forward. I love the stories. I love the passion, I love the feeling in it. Other than R&B I think, for me, it’s the next [most] soulful music there is.”

Check out photos from the 2013 CMT Awards!

He added that the collaboration with FGL came about naturally. “You listen to hits, no matter where they are,” he said. And, because they’re on the same label, the idea was floated that they join forces and do a special remix of “Cruise” to see if they could cross the song over to an even bigger audience.

Following his performance, Nelly debuted the new single “Give U Dat” featuring Future, which will appear on his upcoming album M.O.