Why Carrie Underwood Is ‘More Invested’ Hosting The CMA Awards Without Brad Paisley

Carrie's opening up about hosting the CMA Awards without Brad for the first time in more than a decade.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood speak onstage at the 51st annual CMA Awards
Rick Diamond / Getty Images

Carrie's opening up about hosting the CMA Awards without Brad for the first time in more than a decade.

Carrie Underwood has revealed why she’s actually feeling “a little more invested” when it comes to co-hosting the CMA Awards this year as she prepares to head out on the stage without longtime co-host Brad Paisley for the very first time. The duo first co-hosted the country music award show together back in 2008 and have done the show together every year since. However, this year, Carrie will instead be co-hosting alongside Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.

Carrie opened up about the big change to the hosting format during a recent interview with ABC7 Eyewitness News Entertainment’s Sandy Kenyon. Speaking candidly to the reporter, she admitted that she’s holding this year’s show a little bit closer to her heart than the previous 11 because it’s all about celebrating the women of country music during a difficult time for women in the genre.

“This year I feel like I’m a little more invested, it’s a plight that is near and dear to my heart, supporting women in country music, so I really want it to be great,” Carrie explained.

The special celebration of females in the genre comes after years of controversy surrounding the lack of airplay for females. Stars including Carrie and Miranda Lambert have all spoken out, while Billboard has reported a study has even proved country radio’s lack of interest in playing music by female artists.

The “Before He Cheats” singer admitted in the new interview that she’s keener than ever for everything to run smoothly when she co-hosts the awards live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on November 13 because of how it will shine a light on her fellow females.

“I really want to do a good job,” the mom of two said shortly after stepping in for Kelly Ripa to co-host ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan alongside Ryan Seacrest on November 8. “I want everything to be smooth, I want the fans to be proud of what we’re all doing.”

The star also opened up about how much fun she has while co-hosting the country music show, sometimes referred to as Country music’s biggest night, where this year she’s nominated for the very prestigious Entertainer of the Year Award as well as Female Vocalist of the Year.

“It’s fun being in the driver’s seat, it’s fun standing up there with people that you love and admire, it’s not… it’s just fun!” she said on ABC7.

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It was announced in August that Brad would not be co-hosting with Carrie this year. The singer shared a sweet message for his longtime co-host, Dolly, and Reba on social media after the news was confirmed, and he made it clear that there’s no hard feelings.

“As a fan of all 3 of these amazing women, I can’t wait to watch,” Brad tweeted.