Kick off Country Music’s Biggest Night™ with a not-to-be-missed, world premiere musical collaboration and opening monologue during “The 49th Annual CMA Awards,” airing live Wednesday, Nov. 4 (8:00-11 PM/ET) from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on the ABC Television Network.
The three-hour gala kicks off in high gear with one of the night’s top nominees Eric Church with iconic Country rocker Hank Williams, Jr. for a world premiere of Williams’ new Nash Icon release; followed by critically-acclaimed CMA Awards hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and their highly-anticipated opening monologue. And that is just the first 15 minutes.
“If you don’t see the first 15 minutes of the CMA Awards live, you will be grasping for straws at the proverbial watercooler the next morning,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “It is that good and it is just the beginning of a great night of entertainment.”
Church’s nominations include Entertainer (his first nomination in the category); Male Vocalist; Single of the Year for “Talladega,” which was produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora, Jr.; Song of the Year for “Like A Wrecking Ball,” which he wrote with Casey Beathard; and Musical Event of the Year for “Raise ‘Em Up” with Keith Urban. He will be performing “Are You Ready For the Country” with Williams – himself a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year (1987, 1988).
The song, which was written and recorded by Neil Young and later recorded by Waylon Jennings, “is the perfect narrative for the night,” said CMA Awards Executive Producer Robert Deaton. “It sets up musically everything that is going to happen for the rest of the show.”
Paisley and Underwood have undeniable chemistry, humor, and the admiration of the music industry, and they bring it all to the stage. Viewers and the industry audience have come to expect musical parody, wry topical humor, and colorful commentary on pop culture.
With all of that going for them, it’s easy to forget they are world-class entertainers and in addition to hosting duties both will also have performances during the broadcast.
“They have impeccable timing as hosts and then in the next segment you see them with their bands blowing the roof off the arena with an amazing performance,” said Deaton. “They are the whole package.”
Click here to see a video montage of their hosting highlights from previous CMA Awards.
Winners of “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting members of the Country Music Association. CMA Awards balloting is tabulated by the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Thursday, Oct. 8. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Tuesday, Oct. 27 (6:00 PM/CT).
Fans can get more information on “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” and sign up for CMA emails and exclusives by visiting CMAawards.com.