Carrie Underwood is opening up about her upcoming job hosting the CMA Awards. The singer will return to the serve as host for the 12th year in a row, but her first year without her good friend, and former hosting partner, Brad Paisley. Instead, Underwood will helm the show, with help from country music icons Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.
"I was very pleased and happy and excited to hear the news that the CMA wanted to have this year's show be focused on women in country music – past, present, future, all of us together standing united," Underwood shared, via her record label. "And of course, my special guest hosts are Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. It does not get bigger than that or better than that. I feel like the three of us love what we do so much, and we love country music and it means something I feel like, to have us up there on that stage kind of driving the bus for the evening and setting the tone.
"We just want to be respectful of our genre and of this awards show, because it's so important to us, and shine a lot on what I think is the backbone of country music and that's the females that have come before all of us and will come in the future," she added. "So, I think it's gonna be a wonderful night and couldn't be more excited to stand up there with Reba and Dolly."
Underwood looked up to women like McEntire and Parton, who inspired Underwood with her early love of country music, and her own career aspirations.
"Women in this industry carry a lot on them," Underwood told The Tennessean. "I think that's something people don't really think about. You see us on stage, and you see the rhinestones and the makeup and the hair; you don't see all the hours that went into everything else."
Underwood is currently on the road, on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, which wraps up on Oct. 31. She will take a brief break from the tour to head to the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony on Oct. 16, where she will be honored for the fifth time, and McEntire will be given the Artist of a Lifetime Award.
Underwood is also nominated for three CMA Awards trophies. The 36-year-old is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (for Cry Pretty) and the night's highest honor, Entertainer of the Year, a category she shares with Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban.
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 images / Taylor Hill