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CMAs Awards host: Luke Bryan signs on to host country’s biggest night on ABC

Luke Bryan has signed on to host the 55th CMA Awards, the Country Music Association and ABC announced Monday morning.

It will mark the first time hosting for Bryan, a two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year.

“The CMA Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for country music,” Bryan said in a news release. “Being asked to host the CMA Awards was definitely something I put a lot of thought into before answering. The pressure that comes along with that can be overwhelming, but knowing I get to help honor and celebrate so many of my friends, I knew it was something I couldn’t turn down.”

He continued: “Growing up in Georgia, I remember watching Vince Gill, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, to name a few. They were so good. And then becoming a part of this amazing country music family and sitting on the front row while Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker took the reins, all of these artists are heroes and friends, and I am honored to have my name included in this group. I’m looking forward to making it fun and memorable and using this platform to continue to make country music shine.”

It’s been a long time since CMAs have had a single host. Co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley had a 10-year run together starting in 2008. In 2019, Underwood returned as co-host with Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton and McEntire hosted with Darius Rucker last year.

The show will be broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Performers and presenters are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Chris Stapleton and Eric Church led the nominations announced last month, both vying in the same five categories, including entertainer of the year. Stapleton has nominations in male vocalist, album of the year, single and song of the year, and could take home additional trophies as producer both on his album and single. Church, who put out a three-part album in April collectively called “Heart & Soul,” also earned five nominations.

They join Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs as entertainer of the year nominees. Lambert, who is also nominated for female vocalist and musical event, was already the most nominated female artist in CMA history and now ties with Brad Paisley for third in overall nominations, the CMA said in a news release.

Don’t miss the 55th annual CMA Awards on ABC Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 8/7c

Check out the full list of 2021 CMA Awards nominees below:

Entertainer of the year

  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood

Single of the year

  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown (Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young; Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt)
  • “The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett (Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale; Mix Engineers: Chris Galland, Manny Marroquin)
  • “Hell Of A View” – Eric Church (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • “One Night Standards” – Ashley McBryde (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton (Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; Mix Engineer: Vance Powell)

Album of the year

  • “29” – Carly Pearce (Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy Robbins; Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore)
  • “Dangerous: The Double Album” – Morgan Wallen (Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi; Mix Engineer: Joey Moi)
  • “Heart” – Eric Church (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • “Skeletons” – Brothers Osborne (Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)
  • “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton (Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; Mix Engineer: Vance Powell)

Song of the year

  • “Forever After All” – Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford
  • “The Good Ones” – Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick
  • “Hell Of A View” – Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell
  • “One Night Standards” – Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
  • “Starting Over” – Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

Female vocalist of the year

  • Gabby Barrett
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Maren Morris
  • Carly Pearce

Male vocalist of the year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton

Vocal group of the year

  • Lady A
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band

Vocal duo of the year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Musical event of the year

  • “Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan, Producer: Paul DiGiovanni
  • “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer
  • “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King & Miranda Lambert, Producer: Martin Johnson
  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown, Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
  • “Half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney), Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins

Musician of the year

  • Jenee Fleenor, fiddle
  • Paul Franklin, steel guitar
  • Aaron Sterling, drums
  • Ilya Toshinskiy, banjo
  • Derek Wells, guitar

Music video of the year

  • “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, Director: TK McKamy
  • “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown, Director: Peter Zavadil
  • “Gone” – Dierks Bentley, Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske
  • “Half of my hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney), Director: Patrick Tracy
  • “Younger Me” – Brothers Osborne, Director: Reid Long

New artist of the year

  • Jimmie Allen
  • Ingrid Andress
  • Gabby Barrett
  • Mickey Guyton

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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