In a recent interview, Brad Paisley told The Associated Press that he and Carrie Underwood will try to provide a “combination of entertainment and therapy” as they co-host the 51st annual CMA Awards on Wednesday (Nov. 8).
“I think the aim thing we’re trying to do with this show is unify,” Paisley said. The “Whiskey Lullaby” singer acknowledged the shadow that last month’s Las Vegas shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival will cast over the awards show, but also said he and Underwood have the opportunity to take a positive approach to the proceedings.
“We have, obviously, a couple of things to think about in our format, and one of them is this tragedy in Las Vegas,” Paisley said. “We can’t ignore that, but at the same time, I think it’s our job to use this as something that’s uplifting.”
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) November 7, 2017
Last week, the Country Music Association warned media outlets to avoid questions about the shooting, gun rights or political affiliations on the red carpet or risk losing credentials, but quickly rescinded those restrictions after Paisley criticized them on Twitter. It’s unclear whether he or Underwood will explicitly address these issues during the show, but Paisley seems determined to recognize the victims in some form.
“We’re gonna do our best to honor those we’ve lost,” he told The Associated Press, “and also sing this music at the top of our lungs.”