WATCH: Nathan Carter sings Big Tom's first hit 'Gentle Mother' in moving tribute
Carter among country stars paying tribute to Big Tom on Late Late Show Country Special
Nathan Carter will perform a moving tribute to Big Tom on tonight's Late Late Show Country Special.
Big Tom MacBride passed away this week at the age of 81 and his funeral took place today in his home town of Castleblayney in Monaghan.
He was a regular on RTE's Late Late and had performed on the Country Special in 2015. Tonight's show will be dedicated to celebrating the music he loved.
Carter will perform Big Tom's first hit, Gentle Mother, as the biggest names in country music gather to pay tribute to the star.
Ronan Keating has joined the line-up alongside country heavyweights Daniel O'Donnell, Susan McCann, Paddy Cole and Fr Brian D'Arcy will be in studio to discuss the impact Big Tom had on the Irish country scene as well as his legacy.
The show, which was pre-recorded on Thursday in front of a live studio audience, will feature performances of some of his hits.
“This week, more than any, we have seen how the country scene in Ireland is part of the fabric of who we are," said Late Late host Ryan Tubridy.
"It is only fitting that we should pay tribute to Big Tom. As one of the best loved singers in Ireland, he paved the way for a lot of today’s biggest performers. We’ll be hearing from some of those who knew him best and celebrating the popularity of the music that he loved so much. There is something for everyone in this show from the die-hard fans to those looking to dip their toe into country waters.”
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.
Former Boyzone star Keating will also be in studio to talk about the country origins of When You Say Nothing At All and he will perfom the song with new star Lisa McHugh.
Meanwhile, Sandy Kelly will sing Islands in the Stream and Nathan Carter and Cliona Hagan will perform a duet of Hurts So Good. In Circle of Friends the country stars will celebrate major hits and there will be a special nod to Glen Cambpell who passed away in August.
Other stars appearing on the Country Special will be Gloria, Philomena Begley, Jimmy Buckley, Declan Nerney,Mike Denver, Michael English and Robert Mizzell.
The Late Late Show Country Special, tonight RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Ireland's country stars - Mike Denver, Michael English, Lisa McHugh, Jimmy Buckley, Robert Mizzel, Cliona Hagan, Patrick Feeney and special guest Ray Lynam - will take to the stage at Vicar Street on November 26 for Country Roads. Tickets priced €35 incl b/fee are on sale now through www.ticketmaster.ie and usual outlets nationwide.