This will mark country star and American Idol host Bryan’s debut as host of the CMA Awards. He previously co-hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards for five consecutive years, co-hosting alongside Blake Shelton from 2013-2015 and alongside Dierks Bentley in 2016-2017.
This will also be the first time a sole individual has hosted the CMA Awards since Vince Gill was the sole host from 1994-2003 (Gill co-hosted the CMA Awards alongside Reba McEntire in 1992 and alongside Clint Black in 1993).
“The CMA Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for country music,” said Bryan. “Being asked to host the CMA Awards was definitely something I put a lot of thought into before answering. The pressure that comes along with that can be overwhelming, but knowing I get to help honor and celebrate so many of my friends, I knew it was something I couldn’t turn down. I mean, growing up in Georgia, I remember watching Vince Gill, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, to name a few. They were so good. And then becoming a part of this amazing country music family and sitting on the front row while Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker took the reins, all of these artists are heroes and friends, and I am honored to have my name included in this group. I’m looking forward to making it fun and memorable and using this platform to continue to make country music shine.”
“We are so thrilled to have Luke join us as this year’s CMA Awards host,” said CMA CEO Sarah Trahern in a statement. “His fun and playful energy is something television viewers have welcomed into their homes week after week as a judge on American Idol, and I know he has something exciting up his sleeve for the CMA Awards. We cannot wait to bring music fans a magical night of performances and truly some of the most special moments our show has ever delivered, in just a few weeks.”
“We are so grateful Luke will host the biggest event in country music. That’s my kind of night and it will be yours too,” said Rob Mills, Walt Disney Television executive vice president, unscripted and alternative entertainment. “I am excited for Luke to bring the same humor, energy and emotion as host of the CMA Awards that he has for the last five years on American Idol.”
Eric Church and Chris Stapleton lead this year’s CMA Awards nominees, with five nominations each. Both Church and Stapleton are up for the coveted entertainer of the year honor, alongside Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.