Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley Won’t Host CMAs, But Hit the Opry

From 2008 to 2018, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hosting the CMAs together was one of the few bright spots on a presentation that otherwise offered you a steady diet of bad pop country being crammed down your throat. Brad Paisley is one of the few funny men left in today’s country (it used to be much more common), and Carrie Underwood made the perfect foil. Regardless of what you feel about their music, the chemistry of these two worked, and that’s why their hosting duties lasted for a decade.

On Tuesday (9-1) the CMAs announced the nominees for the 2020 CMA Awards—just a couple of weeks ahead of the ACMs holding their annual show postponed from April. We don’t know the exact configuration the 2020 awards will take due to COVID-19 restrictions, if there will be live performances or an audience. But we do know that Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood won’t be hosting this year’s show.

The run of the two emceeing the event ended in 2019 when the CMAs decided to put women at the forefront, and drafted Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton to host with Carrie. Then very late last year, Underwood announced that she would not be returning as host of the CMA Awards in 2020—a month or so after she was beaten out by Garth Brooks for the Entertainer of the Year award many were expecting Carrie Underwood to receive. So even if Brad Paisley was game for coming back (and the CMAs invited him), we still wouldn’t see a reunification of the two.

That means 2020 will officially be the end of the Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood era at the CMAs. But both will be appearing on stage Saturday, September 5th at the Grand Ole Opry as part of the Opry’s continued Saturday night presentations enduring through the COVID-19 shutdown. They’re both long-time Opry members, and are often the only ones from the mainstream country set that actually uphold their obligations to the Opry by appearing regularly. Carrie Underwood was yet again the only mainstream artist in 2019 to appear at the Opry more than 10 times.

We may not see any humorous repartee between the two since the way the Opry shows have been presented lately is letting one artist play after the other as opposed to an “in the round” acoustic setting like earlier in the pandemic. Or maybe they will interact. But either way, it will be cool to see the two reunited once again.

Fans can watch Saturday night’s Opry presentation live via the embedded player below, on the new Circle Network via local affiliates of the expanding channel (check availability), on the Circle Network’s Facebook Page, or on The Circle Network’s YouTube page, or listen via WSM. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. Central.

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