Lionel Richie Is Going Country with New Duets on the CMAs

10/26/2011 at 02:00 PM EDT

CMAs: Lionel Richie Performing Duets
Lionel Richie in the studio with Rascal Flatts
Alan Silfen
Lionel Richie is connecting with his country side.

The singer, who's got an upcoming country duets album called Tuskegee, will show off his chops live on the CMA Awards Nov. 9 (8 p.m. ET), performing with Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker and Little Big Town

"Over a period of time, I realized that the songs that I was writing translated to country," Richie, 62, said in a press release. "As a songwriter, I didn't really start out thinking I was country; I was thinking I was R&B."

"It was just a natural progression," he added. "I am from Tuskegee, Alabama; I am a country boy. It just felt right to do this."





Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will host the 45th annual awards, and the long list of performers includes Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban.

On the new album, which is due in March, Richie also performs his beloved hits with top country stars such as Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Kenny Chesney.

Wonder if his daughter Nicole will be singing along ...

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