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It’s one of the biggest nights in country music, the CMA Awards, and after a year riddled with tragedy it seems that this year’s celebration of country music is even more significant. The show’s longtime co-hosts agree.


Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley chatted with “Hot Topics” about the big night and one event from the past year that is still at the forefront on most country artist’s minds — the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival that took place Oct. 1 in Las Vegas.

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The victims of that devastating incident will be remembered with a special performance during the show, but, in a way, the entire show honors the spirit of that event and every country music concert moving forward. Brad said, “One of the things that we are committed to with this award show, too, is that we need more than ever to play this music for people live and in a setting where we can all get together and watch and listen to this. So, let’s take some precautions, but let’s not stop playing.”

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Brad and Carrie also admit they have gone through a personal evolution since they began hosting the CMA Awards a decade ago. “We have a little bit of an idea of what to do, and that’s a great place to start from,” Brad said. Carrie chimed in, “The first year was kinda like, ‘What are we doing, is this going to be OK,’” and Brad added, “I don’t even think they were sure after we finished.”

Since this is their 10th time to host the awards, we’re guessing the CMA is pretty sure now.

Tune in to watch Brad and Carrie on “The 51st Annual CMA Awards” Nov. 8 on ABC. And watch the full interview with them above.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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