The 2018 edition of the Country Music Awards will not be seeing one of the most popular artists in the country genre, according to a report by Entertainment Tonight.
The awards show announced through their Twitter account on Wednesday that Chesney would not be in attendance at the ceremony due to a death in the family. There have been no more details regarding the death that have been released.
The sad news regarding Chesney’s absence came as the CMAs also announced that the 50-year-old country music star was an early winner, alongside Thomas Rhett and David Lee Murphy. Chesney and Murphy earned their award for their collaboration “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which gave the pair Musical Event of the Year, while Rhett’s music video for “Marry Me” earned him and director TK McKamy Music Video of the Year.
While fans will be disappointed not to be able to see Chesney, they will still get the chance to see some of the other stars in the country music genre, including a live performance by Keith Urban. Urban spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the performance of his song “Never Comin’ Down,” describing the forthcoming show as special.
Urban said in the interview, “It’s a blast playing it. We’ve been opening the tour with this song every night and I’m so thrilled we get to do it here at CMAs, particularly with this production. The rehearsal is so fun but to have an audience in front of us [is the] missing piece.”
CMA Musical Event of the Year winner & Entertainer of the Year nominee @KennyChesney will be unable to appear on tonight's telecast due to a death in the family.
— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 14, 2018
The biggest night in country music will be hosted for the eleventh consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. According to a report by People, the pair have found themselves a winning formula together, producing several viral moments in their decade-plus of hosting, including their 2008 comedic sketch called “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Kanye,” or the “Tim and Faith Have Barbies” sketch from the 2011 edition. However, none were more memorable than the 2014 edition when Paisley revealed the sex of the five-month pregnant Underwood’s baby. With Underwood once again pregnant during this year’s edition, which leads to rumors that there may be another gender reveal for Underwood.
The 52nd edition of the ceremony will also feature live performances by Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, Luke Bryan, Lauren Alaina, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, and Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert.