The Country Music Association shared the news on Twitter on Wednesday just hours ahead of the ceremony.
"CMA Musical Event of the Year winner & Entertainer of the Year nominee Kenny Chesney will be unable to appear on tonight's telecast due to a death in the family," the tweet read.
CMA Musical Event of the Year winner & Entertainer of the Year nominee @KennyChesney will be unable to appear on tonight's telecast due to a death in the family.— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 14, 2018
Chesney was nominated for two CMA Awards this year — Musical Event of the Year for his duet with David Lee Murphy, entitled “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright," and the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. It has already been announced that he and Murphy took home the former award.
The singer was also scheduled to perform the song with Murphy during Wednesday night's broadcast. It is unclear who will fill their slot in the broadcast.
“One of the highlights of my year was watching David Lee’s album find an audience and hearing ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ rolling out of people’s car speakers,” Chesney previously said in a statement. “And hearing the crowd roar every time he walked out on stage at the stadiums this summer...In a world where true originals are so hard to find, there’s only one David Lee Murphy, so beyond being thrilled for everything that’s happened with this song.”
The CMA Awards will air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and are scheduled to feature performances by Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Midland and Kacey Musgraves. Additional performers include: Old Dominion, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Urban and Brett Young, and Chris Stapleton with Maren Morris and Mavis Staples. The show's hosts, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will also perform during the broadcast.
The show will also feature special appearances by Lindsay Ell, Vince Gill, Sierra Hull, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, Jon Pardi, Carson Peters, Marty Stuart and Cole Swindell.0comments
Presenters will include Jimmie Allen, Bobby Bones and his Dancing With the Stars partner Sharna Burgess, Kane Brown, Olivia Culpo, Mackenzie Foy, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride, Carly Pearce, Noah Schnapp, Dennis Quaid, Lionel Richie and Rita Wilson.
Photo Credit: Getty / Leigh Vogel