For the 2019 CMA Awards, Carrie Underwood is hosting for the 12th time, but the first without her previous co-host, Brad Paisley. With the awards show focused on female artists – which Underwood previously revealed was at least partly her idea – she had the dream of hosting alongside Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, but had no idea that dream would actually come true.
"Well it was kind of like a discussion," Underwood shared on the Ty Bentli Show. "What's the tone this year should take? I've always been really lucky that the CMAs have asked my opinion, and want my input. So we kind of sit down and say, 'What should it feel like? What should it be like? Is there an angle?' We started talking about doing the tribute to women. Well then, what does that mean? And talking about the dream team, the wish list, Dolly and Reba, and they said yes, so it's like, 'Here we go. Let's do this."
Once Underwood found out the two country music icons agreed to co-host with her, Underwood has been nothing but thankful that the CMA Awards will be led by her and her two childhood idols.
"Sheer excitement and joy and gratitude," gushed Underwood. "I get to stand on a stage with two of the women that taught me everything. They really did, and two women who have always represented themselves, and this genre of music with class and humor and obvious talent. So I'm just amazed that they know my name and I get to share the stage with them, and we get to kind of be the face for women in country music, but also for country music."
The 2019 CMA Awards will kick off with a star-studded performance by Underwood, Parton and McEntire, along with women like Sara Evans, Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride, Crystal Gayle and more. Underwood will also perform her new single, "Drinking Alone," while Parton will perform a medley of gospel hits, backed by a Nashville church choir, and McEntire will perform her classic hit, "Fancy."
The 2019 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty / Taylor Hill