Why Isn’t Brad Paisley Going to the 2019 CMA Awards?
Paisley actually shared his support for the trio after the news broke that he would not return to co-host. "As a fan of all three of these amazing women, I can’t wait to watch," he tweeted.
The 53rd annual awards show is focusing on celebrating women in country music, so it could simply be that producers didn't want to detract from that theme. McEntire and Parton are not just co-hosting; they're also two of the very few women who have ever won a CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year. Underwood is nominated in that category in 2019, and if she wins, it would mean that three female Entertainers of the Year anchored a broadcast that is designed to pay homage to the contributions female artists have made to the genre over the decades.
Underwood, McEntire and Parton are slated to open the CMAs with an all-star female performance that will also include Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, the Highwomen (composed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires), Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson. Each will perform part of a country classic in a female all-star medley.
Kelsea Ballerini is set to join Lindsay Ell, Maddie & Tae, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Runaway June for "an epic performance of an iconic CMA Song of the Year and CMA Single of the Year featuring a special appearance by Little Big Town."
As for Paisley, he hasn't hung up his hosting shoes just yet. He will be hosting his own televised special, Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special, which is set to air on ABC on Dec. 3 at 8PM ET. Paisley also executive produced the television special.
Underwood is set to make an appearance during Paisley's special, though it's not yet clear if she is slated to perform. He brought together some of the biggest names in music for the one-hour event, including Hootie & the Blowfish, the Jonas Brothers, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and Kelsea Ballerini. The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and NFL legend Peyton Manning will also appear.
Remember: The best way to watch the CMAs is on TV, with ToC on your phone!
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