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Brad Paisley Joins Connie Britton for Nashville Finale

05/01/2013 at 03:10 PM EDT

  • Connie Britton and Brad Paisley on the set of Nashville
    Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC
  • Connie Britton, Brad Paisley and Charles Esten on the set of Nashville
    Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC
  • Connie Britton and Brad Paisley on the set of Nashville
    Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC
A real-life country star is coming to Nashville.

Brad Paisley will make a special guest appearance as himself on the season finale of the ABC drama – and PEOPLE has the first photos from the set.

The Grammy winner, 40, will perform with Connie Britton and Charles Esten's characters, Rayna and Deacon, at the CMA Awards during the episode, which airs May 22.

The appearance isn't just another gig for Paisley – it's a family affair. His wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, is a regular on the series, playing the mistress of Rayna's soon-to-be ex-husband Teddy.

The "Accidental Racist" singer is the first high-profile non-fictional musician to perform on the show, which producers have long insisted would not be a forum for regular cameos by country stars – although it has featured plenty of lower-profile musicians.

"We're focused on our cast of real country artists – it's not a guest show; the fabric of Nashville is the fabric of our show," R.J. Cutler said in January. "The musicians in the pilot are real Nashville musicians who are greatly respected there and known by country music people there."

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