Carrie Underwood as CMA Awards Host: Here’s Why She Could Return

by Caitlin Berard
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(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT)

For more than a decade, Carrie Underwood delighted colleagues and fans alike as the host of the Country Music Association Awards ceremony. A country music icon and a massive fan of the genre herself, Carrie Underwood was the ideal host, carrying the show with grace and an unfailingly sunny disposition alongside fellow star Brad Paisley.

To the dismay of fans across the country, however, Carrie Underwood announced that 2019 would be her last as CMA Awards host. In a heartfelt note to her viewers and fellow legends, Underwood explained that she was stepping down from her long-held role and giving another star a chance to share their love for the genre at the annual awards show.

“It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do,” Underwood wrote on Instagram. “I’ve got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.”

In the years that followed, the CMA Awards gave the honor to Darius Rucker and Reba McEntire, then Luke Bryan, the first person to take on the role without a cohost in 18 years. This year, Bryan returned to the iconic stage, this time joined by NFL legend and country music fan Peyton Manning.

Could Carrie Underwood Return to the CMA Stage?

Luke Bryan has carried the torch well, the two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year brightening the Awards show with his immense love for country music and unique brand of humor. Peyton Manning, though not a country star himself, has a deep appreciation for the genre, palpable throughout the entire evening. “I am such a huge fan of Country Music,” Manning said. “So to have the chance to stand among so many incredibly talented artists is an absolute honor.”

The millions of country fans who tune in to watch the CMA Awards every year adore Luke Bryan and got a kick out of Peyton Manning. For many, however, it’s just not the same without Carrie Underwood. Though she took the stage for multiple performances, it’s not enough. Fans have been demanding the “Church Bells” singer return to her hosting duties from the moment she set them aside.

The ardent, unending demands of country music fans make it highly likely that Carrie Underwood will return as host in the coming years. And her pointed inclusion of “at least for now!” in her original statement makes it a near-certainty.

Earlier this month, Kelsea Ballerini made the exciting announcement that Carrie Underwood will appear at next year’s CMT Awards. Details surrounding the 2023 CMA Awards, however, remain under wraps. That said, it wouldn’t be surprising in the slightest to see Carrie Underwood take the stage once again.

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