Black/white host pairings at country music awards shows are officially a thing. Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown are set to co-host the CMT Music Awards on June 9, less than two months after Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton co-hosted the ACM Awards, and about seven months after Darius Rucker and Reba McEntire co-hosted the CMA Awards.
The country music community is endeavoring to make the genre more welcoming to artists (and fans) of color.
This year marks Ballerini’s first time co-hosting the CMT Music Awards.
“Kelsea and Kane are two of the brightest, most sought-after stars in country music today and we’re thrilled to welcome them both as hosts of the 2021 CMT Music Awards,” CMT producers said in a statement.
Update: On May 19, CMT announced the first round of performers for the show. The roster includes Chris Stapleton and Luke Combs as well as four collabs — Brothers Osborne and Dierks Bentley; Maren Morris and JP Saxe; Guyton and Gladys Knight; and Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.
The CMT Awards, which bills itself as country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show, airs Wednesday, June 9, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on CMT. The show will also be simulcast on five MTV Entertainment Group networks — MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land.
Nominations for the 2021 CMT Music Awards will be announced Thursday, May 13, at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT, coinciding with the start of fan voting at vote.cmt.com. Voting will run through Tuesday, June 1, at 12 p.m. ET.
The 2021 CMT Music Awards is executive produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux and Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson. Executives in charge of production are Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino.