Reba McEntire is preparing for her big night of hosting at the CMA Awards on Wednesday in Nashville. In doing so, she also has quite the "blinged-out" facemask to sport onstage as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on across the country. Co-host Darius Rucker will join McEntire.
Her boyfriend, Rex Linn, was the one who shared the photo of his wife on Instagram. The shield has some jewels across the top and the mask that she wears, while tough to decipher in the photo, appears to pay tribute to some of country music’s biggest stars of yesterday.
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This appearance won’t be McEntire’s first go-around as host of the award show, though it will be first in the middle of a pandemic. “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 the October press release. This occasion will mark the fifth time that the country icon is hosting, but it will be the first time Rucker has held that position.
In an interview with Billboard, McEntire said she is hoping that the awards show is able to take people’s minds off all the stressors that are going on across the country between the tumultuous election and its fallout and the pandemic, “I think we’re going to have a blast.” While McEntire is more than comfortable as a host, she will be thrown into a bit of a new situation due to the precautions and changes taken due to COVID-19. Among the most notable adjustments was the venue moving from the Bridgestone Arena to Music City Center, which will feature an audience that is only comprised of performing and nominated artists. The hosts will also be separated by six feet throughout.
Another safety measure taken was testing for all those who will be in attendance. As a result, two performers, Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard, have tested positive for the coronavirus and will not be performing as scheduled. Brice announced on Tuesday that Lady A’s Charles Kelley will fill-in for him alongside Carly Pearce for their nominated song, “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” The biggest award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, will feature Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.