On tonight's Late Late Show Country Special on RTÉ One, Nathan Carter leads the audience in a moving rendition of the late Big Tom's first hit Gentle Mother as the biggest names in Irish country gather to pay tribute to the Monaghan man.
The show, airing tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One, was pre-recorded in front of a live audience yesterday and features a tribute to Big Tom with a panel discussion on his impact and legacy including Nathan, Daniel O'Donnell, Fr Brian D'Arcy, Susan McCann and Paddy Cole.
Speaking on the show, Fr Brian D'Arcy says: "No matter where he went in the country, everybody thought that Tom was a member of their family. He was an ordinary man who became a superstar, never knew he was a superstar and lifted every ordinary man to think that they were superstars."
The tribute also features contributions from TR Dallas, Big Tom's manager Kevin McCooey and his fellow Mainliner Henry McMahon. And stars including Gloria, Mike Denver, Philomena Begley, Derek Ryan and Declan Nerney later join the panel in a medley of Big Tom's hits.
This year’s Late Late Show Country Special also puts a focus on the wide appeal of country music by featuring some of the crossover hits that have broken out of the scene to make it big in the mainstream.
Boyzone singer Ronan Keating tells viewers about the country origins of one of his biggest solo hits When You Say Nothing At All and performs it with one of the newest stars of the scene, Lisa McHugh.
Derek Ryan and Sandy Kelly sing the classic Islands in the Stream and Nathan Carter and Cliona Hagan bring viewers their version of Hurts So Good. In ‘Circle of Friends’, the stars of country celebrate some major hits and a special nod goes to Rhinestone Cowboy singer Glen Campbell.
The Late Late Show Country Special tonight on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.
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