Carrie Underwood on Upcoming CMA Awards: 'I Love That There's a Theme Happening'

The 2019 CMA Awards are only a few weeks away, and Carrie Underwood is getting excited to host the show, for the 12th year in a row, but this time with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, instead of her previous co-host, Brad Paisley. The iconic female artists were invited to join Underwood as the show focuses its attention on celebrating women and female artists, something Underwood hopes continues in the future.

"It's definitely gonna be heartfelt," Underwood said (via PEOPLE). "I love the fact that there's a theme happening. I hope that's kind of something that maybe we adopt for future CMAs."

Underwood is also eager to watch Parton and McEntire do what they do best: entertain a crowd.

"I feel like Dolly and Reba are both so good at those one-liners that just kill," Underwood noted. "I can't imagine there not being some of those in there."

The American Idol alum has already done plenty of prep for the CMA Awards, but admits there is a lot left to be done.

"I feel like there's so much groundwork to be laid before we start getting into the details," Underwood acknowledged. "Right now we're working on things musically, and I'm working on kind of our opening. … We've already gotten into some of the script and some of the writings, and I think it'll really come down to the three of us getting in a room together and kind of reading through things and then being like, 'Yeah, I wouldn't say it like that,' and 'Let's change it this way,' and 'What about this?'"

Underwood is also nominated for three CMA Awards, including the night's highest honor, Entertainer of the Year. It's a trophy she wants, but not just for her own validation.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want it or it's an honor to be nominated," Underwood admitted to Pollstar. "I'm competitive and committed to what we do. But you know that award is about so much more than me. It's about my team, all the people who work so hard with me – from the label to the road people, the musicians, the songwriters, my management, even the fans because it's their award, too. I see the fans coming to multiple shows, calling the radio stations, trying to find the music.

"I could say, 'I'm just doing this for the fans,' because there's a lot of truth in that," she continued. "And I'd rather be the person who doesn't win, but should. But I look at the things that go into it: performances, album, tour, vocals, the songs. I want to be the person who truly excels at all those things."

The 2019 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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