Carrie Underwood Will Not Return as CMA Awards Host
Carrie Underwood will not return to host the CMA Awards in 2020, and she may come back ever.
The superstar revealed the news on social media, saying she's proud of what she accomplished as CMA Awards host with Brad Paisley for 11 years, and most recently with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire in 2019.
"It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together," Underwood writes on Instagram, "so I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do."
Only Vince Gill hosted the CMA Awards as many CMA Awards as Underwood's 12 consecutive years. When she first started in 2008, she had only released two albums, although she was tremendously popular after winning American Idol three years prior. Paisley was one of country music's most popular singers at the time, and during their early years Underwood played more of a straight role to his comedy. In recent years she carried the humor with ease, but in 2019 she again stepped back to allow to veterans in Parton and McEntire to shine.
Most years Underwood and Paisley's monologue (and handling of sensitive topics) was acclaimed, which is partly why it was surprising to see Paisley step away before the 2019 show. Previously he had said it was getting too difficult to be funny in a world that's growing more divisive, but never officially gave a reason for the separation and no one ever said whose decision it was: his, the CMA's or ABC's.
Many hoped Paisley and Underwood would reunite in 2020, but it seems that's not to be. Her statement indicates there will be fresh faces hosting, although no host is guaranteed (there was no host in 2007). Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini are possible candidates, as both have been hosting the CMA Fest television special on ABC for several years. Last year radio deejay Bobby Bones joined them.
"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 adds.
Officially she has just two tour dates planned for 2020 but she is expected to do some publicity in support of a new book. Find Your Path will be out in March 2020. Her last album was Cry Pretty, released in September 2018.