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Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley return as hosts of 48th Annual CMA Awards

Seven times. That's right, this year will mark the seventh time that country stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will team to serve as co-hosts for the annual CMA Awards, which will be broadcast live 8-11 p.m. (ET) Nov. 4 on ABC-TV.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return to host "The 48th Annual CMA Awards" live from Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 5, on ABC.
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Billed by its marketers as “Country Music’s Biggest Night,” the awards show, which is now in its 48th year, will be held once again in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

Although CMA PR reps officially shared the news Aug. 6, Underwood and Paisley called on the this week's “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” concert broadcast to make the announcement via a segment that featured the pair fielding CMA Awards trivia questions posed by Little Big Town.

“Carrie and Brad are unmatched as a hosting team,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA's CEO, in an Aug. 6 email shared with Examiner. “They have impeccable comic timing, industry credibility, critical acclaim, and a natural rapport that makes them popular with our live audience and the viewers at home. We are delighted to have them presiding over 'Country Music’s Biggest Night.’”

Meanwhile, the executive producer of the CMA Awards, Robert Deaton, echoed his delight at having Paisley and Underwood on the bill again, saying, “Brad and Carrie are more than hosts, they are an important part of the CMA Awards brand. They bring so much to the table beyond what you see on stage during the broadcast. They are gifted creative collaborators who routinely raise the bar and set the standard for live-0television hosting.”

As for this year's nominees, finalist in each of the 12 categories will be announced in early September. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Oct. 9. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot will end Oct. 27 at 5 p.m. (CT).

Co-hosts Paisley and Underwood are no strangers to the nominee--and winner--spotlights when it comes to the CMAs. As evidence, Paisley has collected14 CMA Awards since receiving the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year) in 2000, including Entertainer of the Year (2010), Male Vocalist (2007, 2008, 2009), and Album (2006 for "Time Well Wasted").

He also won Musical Event of the Year three times beginning in '04 with Alison Krauss for “Whiskey Lullaby,” second in 2006 for “When I Get Where I’m Going” with Dolly Parton and a third time in 2009 for “Start a Band” with Keith Urban. He claimed the Vocal Event of the Year trophy in 2001 for “Too Country” with Bill Anderson, George Jones and Buck Owens, in addition to winning Music Video of the Year four times for “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song)” in 2002, “Whiskey Lullaby” (with Krauss, 2004), “Online” (2007) and “Waitin’ on a Woman” (featuring Andy Griffith, 2008).

For her part, Underwood has received 18 CMA nods and five CMA Awards in her career to date, including three consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year trophies (2006-2008), as well as Single of the Year in 2007 for “Before He Cheats”) and the Horizon Award in 2006.

Regarding their ongoing duties as CMA Awards hosts, "Over time there's been an evolution of who we are as hosts of the show--what fits, what's comfortable, what's real," Underwood said via an Aug. 6 correspondence, "and we love being a part of the creative team. We feel the responsibility of what this night means to our music community, to our fellow artists and to the viewers at home."

“Shoot, we've written a bunch of the jokes every year," added Grand Ole Opry member Paisley, who's No. 5 on the list of top CMA Awards winners of all time. "This'll just be the first time we have to pay union dues.”

Tickets: Ticket information for the CMA Awards will be announced later this summer, with information available at

The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast on television for the first time, making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network TV. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC will be the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” and “CMA Country Christmas,” through 2021.

  • Video bonus: To see Paisley and Underwood field CMA Awards trivia questions, simple access the video embedded with this post.
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