Carrie Underwood is stepping down as host of the CMA Awards -- at least for now. The country superstar announced that, after 12 years of hosting, she won't be returning to host the annual award show in 2020. The singer made the announcement on social media.
The "Cry Pretty" singer first hosted the show with Brad Paisley in 2008 -- just three years after she won American Idol. Underwood and Paisley, known for their camaraderie and on-stage banter, became the go-to hosting team for 11 years. In 2019, Underwood co-hosted the 53rd annual CMA Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. The ceremony opened with a tribute to country music's legendary women.
"One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career so far was being on stage with the legends that are Reba and Dolly Parton. I'm so proud that we could celebrate the incredible female artists that are part of the legacy of country music, past, present and future, and I'm thankful for the huge audiences all over the world that tuned in to see it. It's hard to believe that it was my 12th year hosting and I will always treasure every show, from the 11 that I was so lucky to do with my partner in crime and friend for life, Brad Paisley, to sharing the stage with two of my all-time heroes," Underwood wrote. "I'm so incredibly grateful to everyone involved with the CMA Awards all these years. It's hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I've decided that it's time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do. I've got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for all of us."
Only Vince Gill matches Underwood's record of hosting the CMA Awards 12 consecutive years. There's no word yet on which country stars will carry on the hosting tradition, but you can bet that Underwood will have some great advice for her successors.
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