HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Music2022 CMT Awards: Kelsea Ballerini Tests Positive For COVID-19, Will Host From Home

2022 CMT Awards: Kelsea Ballerini Tests Positive For COVID-19, Will Host From Home

by Suzanne Halliburton
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Kelsea Ballerini, after testing positive for COVID-19, will host tonight’s CMT Awards Show from home.

Meanwhile, Kane Brown will take her spot alongside Anthony Mackie as an on-stage host for tonight’s festivities from Nashville.

Ballerini made her announcement via Instagram.

“Alright friends, I have some bad news, and I have some good news,” Kelsea Ballerini said of her positive COVID-19 test. “The bad news is that a couple of days ago I tested positive for COVID and the CMT Awards are tonight, so unfortunately I cannot be there in person anymore.”

With Kelsea Ballerini Sidelined by COVID-19, CMT Turns to Kane Brown, Anthony Mackie

Ballerini and Mackie presented together at the Grammys, possibly to test their hosting chemistry. Their task was to present best country album to Chris Stapleton. And they did that well.

Ballerini was an obvious choice to host the CMTs, which are the only country music awards voted on by fans. She’s young and talented. And Ballerini could pull in the coveted 18 to 49 demo. Mackie, however, wasn’t so obvious. He’s not a country music entertainer. Rather, he’s a country music fan who is most known as the new Captain America in the Marvel Universe.

Anthony Mackie and Kelsea Ballerini (Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Tonight’s show will be a tweak of old times. After all, Brown and Ballerini hosted last year’s CMT Awards show.

So with Kane Brown, the CMT program will sport three co-hosts. A CMT rep issued the following statement to the media about the Kelsea Ballerini COVID-19 diagnosis and tonight’s plans:

“Fortunately, (Ballerini) is asymptomatic and remains excited to co-host the show (remotely). Kelsea’s good friend Kane Brown — who co-hosted with her last year — has graciously agreed to step in alongside Anthony Mackie. The three of them have lots of surprises up their sleeves and fans can look forward to an epic show.”

Kelsea Ballerini, who tested positive for COVID-19, won CMT Performance of the Year award last year, while co-host Kane Brown won Male Video of the Year. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

Check Out The Judds and Collaboration Between Mickey Guyton and Black Pumas

The show provided fans a glimpse of what’s to come tonight. There will be collaborations and appearances from some old-school country music stars. Kelsea Ballerini also was set to sing, but it’s unclear if she’ll be able to do that with her COVID-19 positive test.

The most intriguing collaboration could be Mickey Guyton with Black Pumas. Guyton, a Texan, is an emerging country star. Black Pumas is a Grammy-nominated soul band from Austin. So the Lone Star musicians will give fans a very cool sound.

Old Dominion will perform, as will Carrie Underwood, who won a Grammy for Best Roots Gospel album. Underwood will perform from Vegas, where she’s in the middle of her Reflection residency. She’s hyping her new album, Denim and Rhinestones. And she performed the track “Ghost Story” at the Grammys.

The Judds also will perform tonight. And it’ll be the first time that the mother and daughter will sing together on TV in two decades. Kacey Musgrave will introduce them. And the Judds are planning to sing their 1990 classic “Love Can Build a Bridge.”