iHeartCountry Festival 2018: All The Surprises You Didn't Expect

By Nicole Mastrogiannis

May 5, 2018

2018 iHeartCountry Festival

To say that there was "never a dull moment" during the 2018 iHeartCountry Festival is an understatement. The show boasted surprise after surprise on stage as many of country music's biggest stars took over the the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. 

Hosted by Bobby Bones and Candace Cameron Bure, this year's iHeartCountry Festival included performances from superstar country artists like Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi and Brett Young. And in almost every single performance, there was an amazing surprise from each star.

Country fans will be able to relive the best moments from the show during a special TV broadcast on Sunday, August 5th at 8pm ET/PT on FOX. The two-hour show will showcase never-before-seen collaborations, behind-the-scenes interviews with the artists, as well as guest appearances by Gavin DeGraw, Jana Kramer, Sam Palladio, Josh Henderson, Danielle Bradbery, Ryan Hurd and cast members from FOX’s hit drama, THE GIFTED.

Take a look at all the surprises you weren't expecting during the 2018 iHeartCountry Festival below.

Brett Young performs "Soldier" with Gavin DeGraw

Brett Young surprised country music fans everywhere when he brought out one of his biggest songwriting inspirations, Gavin DeGraw, to perform with him. Young explained to the crowd how Gavin made him want to get into songwriting in the first place, and said, "I've seen a lot of Gavin DeGraw shows, but tonight is the first time I get to share a stage with Mr. Gavin DeGraw." Then, after Gavin appeared on stage and sat down at a keyboard, he talked about his friendship with Brett, and asked the fans in the arena if there were any US Military members out there. Then, he told them, "Brett and I want to play this song for y'all and dedicate this song to the soldier in all of our lives."

Gavin DeGraw and Brett Young perform "Solider" during iHeartCountry Festival

Keith Urban brings out Maren Morris to perform his Miranda Lambert collab "We Were Us"

Keith Urban had a special surprise for fans: Maren Morris. Keith performed a lot of new music from his new album Graffiti U, but he also included some songs from previous records like his Miranda Lambert collaboration "We Were Us" from Fuse. But instead of bringing out Miranda to sing her part, Urban invited Maren Morris (who was rocking a Texas football jersey) to perform with him, who performed her own set earlier in the night. Keith explained to the crowd, "We want to do something a little special tonight."

Maren Morris and Keith Urban perform live at the iHeartCountry Festival

Luke Bryan brings out Cole Swindell to sing "Roller Coaster"

Cole Swindell may have performed earlier in the night, but he wasn't finished after his set was over. Cole returned to the stage for a special surprise during Luke Bryan's performance. Luke started off singing "Roller Coaster" (off of 2013's Crash My Party), and then introduced his pal Cole who then helped him sing the track to the cheering crowd of fans. Luke played the guitar and sang, while Cole joined him as a second vocalist. 

Cole Swindell and Luke Bryan perform during iHeartCountry Festival

Dan + Shay surprise fans with Danielle Bradbery for their "How Not To" performance

Dan + Shay brought out a very special guest to help them sing their song "How Not To": Danielle Bradbery. Danielle had also performed earlier in the day during the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival.

Dan + Shay surprise the iHeartCountry crowd with Daneille Bradbery collaboration.

Walmart Yodel Boy Mason Ramsey performed the song that made him go viral and his new single "Famous"

Eleven-year-old Mason Ramsey became a viral sensation after a video of himself yodeling in his local Walmart when viral, but his talent has taken him to Coachella, and now the iHeartCountry Music Festival. Mason appeared on stage where he not only showed off his yodeling chops to the crowd performing the song that made him famous in the first place (Hank Williams's "Lovesick Blues"), but performed his recently released debut single "Famous," accompanied by a guitarist. This kid is going places...

Mason Ramsey

Scotty McCreery gives a surprise performance of his new single "Five More Minutes"

It's been an exciting year for Scotty McCreery to say the least. The country singer/songwriter released his fourth studio album Seasons Change, he got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, and this weekend (May 5th), he surprised the crowd with a special performance. Scotty walked on on stage to surprise fans at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas where he performed his new single "Five More Minutes."

Scotty McCreery

Bobby Bones crashes Sugarland's performance of "Stuck Like Glue"

During Sugarland's set, the reunited duo was in the middle of their performance of their The Incredible Machine song "Stuck Like Glue," when all of a sudden, Bobby Bones crashed their set!

Bobby Bones crashes Sugarland's set at the iHeartCountry Festival

Luke Bryan surprised the crowd to sing "Good Directions" with Billy Currington

During Billy Currington's set, Luke Bryan briefly appeared on stage to help sing "Good Directions," which he co-wrote. And they were the two best friends that anyone could have...

Billy Currington, Luke Bryan

Photos: Getty Images & Rodger Ho for iHeartRadio

Luke BryanKeith UrbanDustin LynchCole SwindellMaren MorrisSugarlandLuke CombsBilly CurringtonDan + ShayJon PardiBrett Young

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