The Country Music Association has announced a shake-up to its usual presenter line-up for the CMA Awards. The 2019 event, to take place on 13 November at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, will feature longtime co-host Carrie Underwood, but this time without her regular partner Brad Paisley. Instead, she’ll be joined by Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, as the CMA celebrates the legendary female figures of country music.
Following the official announcement this morning (19), CMA chief executive officer Sarah Trahern shared her excitement for the event. “It’s an incredible honour to welcome Carrie, Reba and Dolly to the CMA Awards stage this year. In addition to awarding the year’s best and brightest in the genre, The 53rd Annual CMA Awards will celebrate the legacy of women within country music, and we couldn’t think of a more dynamic group of women to host the show.”
Underwood, McEntire and Parton are reported in the announcement to have a total of 124 CMA Awards nominations and 22 wins between them. Underwood has co-hosted the event with Paisley every year since 2008. Her new co-hosts both have previous form in that department, though: Parton hosted the ceremony in 1988, while McEntire fronted the occasion for three consecutive years, in 1990 with Randy Travis, solo in 1991 and with Vince Gill in 1992.
The decision comes amid heightened discussion of the longtime imbalance in airplay for female artists in country music, and for their lack of recognition in some CMA Award categories. The last woman to win the prestigious Entertainer of the Year title at the annual event was Taylor Swift in 2011.
After the trio of female stars was announced, Paisley took to social media to spread the news. “As a fan of all three of these amazing women, I can’t wait to watch,” he wrote on Twitter. Parton also chimed in, writing “Let’s go girls! I’m so excited to be joining Carrie Underwood and Reba to celebrate the legendary women of country music as a guest host of this year’s CMA Awards on 13 November.”
The list of nominees will be announced on Wednesday 28 August 28 during ABC’s Good Morning America, from their Times Square studio in New York.
Meanwhile Underwood continues her Cry Pretty Tour 360, with fall dates that run through Halloween. The multi-platinum powerhouse continues to break box office records and shows no signs of stopping.