updated 10/25/2011 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/26/2011 AT 2:00 PM ET
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.”