Country Music Awards : the 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards will kick off and bring together both legends and fresh faces of the genre for a night full of unforgettable performances, laughs, and, of course, award-giving and acceptance speeches.
For her 12th year in a row, Carrie Underwood will serve as host for the awards show. This year will be notably different, though, since her co-host of 11 years, Brad Paisley, announced in August that he’d be stepping back from the gig. Instead, Underwood will be joined this year by co-hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.
At a press conference last month, Underwood offered a few hints about how the show will work now that Paisley won’t be by her side.
Kelsea Ballerini will also join Lindsay Ell, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae and Runaway June for a special performance. Dierks Bentley will team up with Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne (of Brothers Osborne) for another special performance.
Check out PEOPLE’s full CMA Awards coverage to get the latest news on country music’s biggest night.
Along with the opening performance, Underwood will perform her single “Drinking Alone” from her latest album, Cry Pretty. McEntire will sing her 1990 song “Fancy,” while Parton will perform a gospel medley with KING & Country and Zach Williams. The trio will be performing “God Only Knows,” a collaboration between Parton and for KING & COUNTRY, her duet with Williams “There Was Jesus,” as well as Parton’s collaboration with Galantis, “Faith.”
Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire
Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire MARK SELIGER/ABC
Miranda Lambert and Morris will also show off their vocal prowess. Morris, who announced last month that she’s expecting her first child with husband Ryan Hurd, will perform her hit “GIRL” while Lambert will sing her single “It All Comes Out in the Wash.”
Additional performers include Brooks & Dunn with Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves with Willie Nelson, Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett.
Bobby Bones, Blanco Brown, Hannah Brown, Deana Carter, Kristin Chenoweth, Janie Fricke, Jim Gaffigan, Kathy Mattea, McBride, Midland, Craig Morgan, Nettles, Pam Tillis, Morgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood will all present at the show.
Morris leads the pack with six nods, with Brothers Osborne (consisting of brothers T.J. Osborne and John Osborne) close behind with four nominations. Dan + Shay, Bentley, Church, Combs, Musgraves, Shelton, Stapleton and Underwood received three nominations each, while Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus‘ “Old Town Road” — which was controversially banned from the country charts earlier this year before going on to become the longest-running No. 1 single to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 — picked up its own nomination.
In a welcome change, Underwood was listed among the nominees for the top prize in the traditionally male-dominated entertainer of the year category. She’ll go up against Brooks, Church, Stapleton and Urban for the award.
How Do I Watch the Pre-Shows?
ABC’s “On the Red Carpet at the CMA Awards” airs live on ABC from 7:30-8:00 p.m. Hosted by George Pennacchio and Sandy Kenyon with special guest correspondents Hannah Brown and Jason Fitz, the live red carpet show will also be livestreamed starting at 6:30 p.m. at OnTheRedCarpet.com and CMAawards.com/redcarpet.
How Do I Watch the Awards?
The 53rd Annual CMA Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Head to CMAawards.com/watch and enter your zip code to find your local ABC affiliate and a list of services that will be live-streaming the show.