Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood Return as CMA Hosts
The third time is the charm for Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, as the pair team up once again to host this year's CMA Awards. Brad and Carrie attended a press conference Thursday morning, August 26, at a studio located north of Nashville as they were announced as the hosts with the most again.
The co-hosts have developed a certain chemistry as they have hosted the past couple of years, and this year promises be even better than previous, especially when it comes to joking around with each other, which they already have started to do, perhaps rehearsing for the big day. "I was one of the first tours [Carrie] ever went out on, and we became friends then and have gotten great almost ever since," says Brad. "A couple of rough patches there for a little while. [Carrie laughs] It's fine. Let's not talk about that today."
"There were no rough patches that I knew of," Carrie responded, "unless you were mad at me and I didn't know that."
"It's your dog," Brad explained.
"Oh, our dogs don't like each other!" Carrie agreed.
"This is a great, great person, and it's an honor to be up there with her," Brad said, singing Carrie's praises. "She just brings class and style and grace -- everything I don't have -- to the show. It's a great honor for me to stand there with her."
The two know what a huge undertaking hosting the awards show can be, and since they each now have families of their own, what made them agree to helm the ship for a third year in a row? "They asked!" Carrie tells The Boot. "There was no hesitation for me. The past two years have been so good, and the first one, I was so proud of us, but in the differences between last year and the year before, I feel like we were just so much more comfortable on stage being hosts. It was a lot of fun. It flies by."
"It's a much different experience," Brad adds. "There's very few people that understand that, and you had to have hosted something like this to know ... you feel such a part of it ... It's three hours [but] it feels like 15 to 20 minutes when you're hosting, because there's just no time for anything else. You have to be ready for whoever falls and trips on stage. Last year, they couldn't get [Carrie] in her dress, so I went out and introduced somebody I wasn't supposed to. These things happen. They couldn't find her, and I don't know what she was doing. [laughs]"
"I'm pretty sure he just made that up," Carrie quipped.
There have been numerous outstanding moments from past CMA broadcasts, and Brad has some pretty distinct memories of watching them back home in West Virginia. "Probably the most memorable and one of the most important events for me as an adolescent teen was Reba's dress [the infamous red dress she wore in 1993 to perform the CMA-nominated 'Does He Love You' with Linda Davis]," states Brad. "I think back to the way that was way down to here [pointing to his belly button] ... the one she accidentally wore backwards. That changed my life! [laughs]"
Seriously, folks, he does have a special life-changing moment when he watched Dolly Parton on stage perform 'He's Alive' at the 1989 CMA Awards show with a gospel choir. "Spiritually, there have been very few moments in my life where you see something that impactful," recalls Brad. "There haven't been many churches that made me feel like dropping to my knees like that moment when she's walking out and she belts into 'He's Alive,' and the doors open -- and I don't know how many people were in that choir -- probably 75 people start marching toward her singing ... that was unreal! Again, it's just another thing that I love about this format -- the willingness to swing for the fence that way."
The nominations for the 44th Annual CMA Awards will be announced next Tuesday, August 31, and the awards show will be broadcast live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 10 (8:00 - 11:00 PM ET) on ABC.