The 2020 CMA Awards are almost here, and while the annual ceremony will look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, country music's biggest names will still be gathering in Nashville, in what will be the first in-person awards show this year.
The CMAs have already been affected by the pandemic, as multiple performers have had to drop out after testing positive for COVID-19, but the organization has a number of measures in place to ensure the safety of attendees and performers. There is a new co-hosting duo in Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, and Miranda Lambert has a chance to extend her title as the winningest female artist in the show's history with seven nominations this year.
Read on for everything you need to know about the 2020 CMA Awards.
Where are they?
The CMA Awards are typically held inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, but this year's show will take place across the street at Music City Center due to the pandemic. The show will not have a live audience, but the nominees will be together in a socially-distanced manner.
"As safety is our top priority, we have worked tirelessly over the past several months to fully transform Music City Center into a breathtaking setup that resembles the very first ‘CMA Awards Banquet & Show’ from 1967, and ensures our nominees, performers and their guests a fully safe and physically distant environment," Robert Deaton, CMA Awards Executive Producer, said in a statement. "We are honored, in this very challenging time, to help provide an escape and deliver a live awards show experience unlike any other this year."prevnext
Reba McEntire will serve as co-host for the fifth time in her career, and Darius Rucker will help helm the show for the first time. "I’m thrilled to be back hosting the CMA Awards and even more thrilled that I get to share the stage with Darius Rucker," McEntire said in a statement. "We’re looking forward to a night of celebrating great Country Music and hope you’ll tune in and watch!"
"I look forward to the CMA Awards every year because of the incredible performances and the opportunity to celebrate the year in Country Music," Rucker added. "To be invited to host this year’s awards alongside Reba — are you kidding me?! — it is an absolute honor. Even though this year will look a little different than normal, I know that we're all eager for a night of musical celebration, and this year’s show definitely won't disappoint!"prevnext
Scheduled performers include Jason Aldean, Jimmie Allen, Ingrid Andress, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber, Jenee Fleenor, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce and Charles Kelley, Keith Urban, Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett and Charlie Puth, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris and Rascal Flatts. Rucker will perform with Lady A, McEntire will perform with Thomas Rhett, Urban, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin and Rucker and McEntire will also perform together.
Aldean, Aldean, Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Fleenor and McBryde will open the show with a multi-song tribute to Charlie Daniels, Little Big Town will honor Kenny Rogers and Pardi will tribute Joe Diffie.
Lee Brice was scheduled to perform with Pearce but will miss the show after he tested positive for COVID-19, and Florida Georgia Line will no longer perform after group member Tyler Hubbard tested positive for the virus.prevnext
Presenters include author Lauren Akins, country singer Lauren Alaina, radio personality Bobby Bones, actor and musician Charles Esten, country singer Sara Evans, model Taylor Hill, country singer Jake Owen, actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and gospel singer CeCe Winans.prevnext
Miranda Lambert leads this year's nominees with seven nominations and is followed by Luke Combs, who has six, including his first-ever nod for Entertainer of the Year. Maren Morris has five and Carly Pearce and Dan & Shay have four nominations, as does producer Jay Joyce. Combs is nominated for Entertainer of the Year alongside Lambert, Eric Church, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood, making 2020 the first year since 1979 that two solo female artists are nominated in the category. See all of this year's nominees here.prevnext
Who's being honored?
Charley Pride will receive the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to him by Rucker. The award celebrates iconic artists who have attained the highest degree of recognition in country music and has previously been given to Nelson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.prevnext
How can you watch?
The 2020 CMA Awards will air Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. You can tune in on television or on ABC.com with a participating TV provider, as well as on the ABC app. Before the show, Countdown to the CMA Awards, Live will stream at 6 p.m. ET on ABC News Live and ABC stations will broadcast an On the Red Carpet special at 6:30 p.m. ET. Nexstar affiliates will also air a 30-minute pre-show special at 6:30 p.m. ET.prev