ABC/Mark LevineFor his first prime time variety special, Brad Paisley enlists two big-name acts from the pop world, with whom he goes way back: Darius Rucker and Jonas Brothers.

Brad took Darius out on his first major tour once he stepped away from Hootie & the Blowfish to pursue his country career.

“Darius is two different people. It’s very strange,” Brad jokes. “He’s Darius… this country boy from the Carolinas. And then there’s Hootie & the Blowfish, which is this rock-and-roller that’s on top of the world, too.”

“So it’s nice that… his band sort of reunited this year and they’re tearing it up out there,” he adds. “We’re able to get a small performance from them in a club near the venue. And I think it’s just a magical sequence when I run down the street and bring him back with me.”

Brad has quite a history with the Jonas guys too. In fact, he considers himself an honorary Brother.

“I think I might be,” he tells ABC Audio. “They may say otherwise. In my mind, I am.”

“They’re old friends of mine that, back when they first started, we got together and they had talked about my music being something that they listened to,” he explains.

“And I think my first ever tweet was with Kevin [Jonas],” Brad recalls. “Kevin and I were together in Nashville at a thing, and I had never tweeted before, if that tells you how far back we go. And he said, ‘No, no, I’m gonna help you. Here’s how you do it.’ And he set up my phone and everything, showed me how.” 

Kelsea BalleriniTim McGrawCarrie Underwood, and Peyton Manning also show up for Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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