Singer Carrie Underwood, a Country Music Association Awards fixture as co-host of the annual event for the past 12 years, says she is stepping down.
“One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career so far was being on stage with the legends that are Reba [McEntire] and Dolly Parton,” her most recent co-hosts, the 36-year-old Underwood said in a long social-media post Monday. Saying she was proud to help celebrate “the incredible female artists that are part of the legacy of country music,” she added that, “It’s hard to believe that it was my 12th year hosting and I will always treasure every show, from the 11 that I was so lucky to do with my partner in crime and friend for life, Brad Paisley, to sharing the stage with two of my all-time heroes.”
Herself a winner of seven competitive CMAs as well as two honorary awards, Underwood went on to say, “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. 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.”
The season 4 “American Idol” champion in 2005 and a seven-time Grammy Award-winner, Underwood began co-hosting the event with fellow star Paisley in 2008. Country legends McEntire and Parton succeeded him in November at the 53rd annual ceremony. Underwood’s 12 straight years tied with singer Vince Gill’s run from 1992 to 2003, according to Billboard magazine.
Underwood, who has two children with husband Mike Fisher, a former NHL star, sold out Madison Square Garden on Oct. 2 as part of her Cry Pretty Tour 360.
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