Carrie Underwood has announced that she will step down as co-host of the CMA (Country Music Association) Awards. The country superstar has filled the role for the past 12 years, 11 of them with her “friend for life” Brad Paisley and last year with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.
Writing on Instagram, Underwood declared: “One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career so far was being on stage with the legends that are Reba and Dolly Parton. I’m so proud that we could celebrate the incredible female artists that are part of the legacy of country music, past, present and future, and I’m thankful for the huge audiences all over the world that tuned in to see it.
“It’s hard to believe that it was my 12th year hosting and I will always treasure every show, from the 11 that I was so lucky to do with my partner in crime and friend for life, Brad Paisley, to sharing the stage with two of my all-time heroes. I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone involved with the CMA Awards all these years.
“It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honour it as much as I do. I’ve got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.”
Underwood and Paisley took over from Brooks & Dunn with their first time in the role in 2008. Brooks & Dunn did a three-year stint from 2004-2006, with the 2007 event largely unhosted. Vince Gill had fronted the CMAs solo from 1994 to 2003, and jointly before that with Clint Black in 2003 and McEntire in 2002.
After the 2018 release of her Cry Pretty album, which went gold in the US, Underwood embarked on the extensive national and international Cry Pretty 360 Tour. The album produced three gold-certified singles in the US in the title track, ‘Love Wins’ and ‘Southbound.’ The singer is due to play some shows in the spring, including one at Stagecoach in California on 25 April.