A Look Back at All the Hosts from The CMA Awards

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Videos by American Songwriter

With Luke Bryan set to take the CMA Awards stage on November 10, there have been a plethora of country artists who have come before him.

Beginning in 1967, the CMA Awards took place with Bobbie Gentry and Sonny James hosting the first show. However, the 1967 awards were not televised. It wasn’t until Dale Evans and Roy Rogers took the hosting reigns in 1968, that fans at home were invited to watch. From there, Tennessee Ernie Ford became the host in 1969, becoming the first artist to host the show for consecutive years, from 1969-1971.

The host with the most goes to Vince Gill. Vince hosted the show for 2 consecutive years with a co-host—in 1992 with Clint Black and in 1993 with Reba McEntire. From there he went solo for 10 consecutive years, giving him 12 years as the show’s host.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood gave him a run for his money by hosting the show for 11 consecutive years together from 2008-2018.

Check out all your favorite country stars that helmed the CMA Awards from the very beginning.

1967 – Bobbie Gentry and Sonny James

1968 – Dale Evans and Roy Rogers

1969 – Tennessee Ernie Ford

1970 – Tennessee Ernie Ford

1971 – Tennessee Ernie Ford

1972 – Glen Campbell

1973 – Johnny Cash

1974 – Johnn Cash

1975 – Glen Campbell and Charley Pride

1976 – Johnny Cash and Roy Clark

1977 – Johnny Cash

1978 – Johnny Cash

1979 – Kenny Rogers

1980 – Mac David and Barbara Mandrell

1981 – Mac David and Barbara Mandrell

1982 – Mac David and Barbara Mandrell

1983 – Anne Murray and Willie Nelson

1984 – Kenny Rogers

1985 – Kris Kristofferson and Anne Murray

1986 – Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson

1987 – Kenny Rogers

1988 – Dolly Parton

1989 – Anne Murray and Kenny Rogers

1990 – Reba McEntire and Randy Travis

1991 – Reba McEntire

1992 – Reba McEntire and Vince Gill

1993 – Clint Black and Vince Gill

1994 – Vince Gill

1995 – Vince Gill

1996 – Vince Gill

1997 – Vince Gill

1998 – Vince Gill

1999 – Vince Gill

2000 – Vince Gill

2001 – Vince Gill

2002 – Vince Gill

2003 – Vince Gill

2004 – Brooks & Dunn

2005 – Brooks & Dunn

2006 – Brooks & Dunn

2007 – No host (Various)

2008 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2009 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2010 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2011 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2012 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2013 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2014 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2015 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2016- Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2017 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2018 – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

2019 – Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton

2020 – Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker

2021 – Luke Bryan

While Bryan is taking the hosting reigns solo for the first time, he has hosted an award show before. Luke and pal Blake Shelton hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards for three years, leading up to the 50th anniversary of the show, and then he continued on with Dierks Bentley for two consecutive years.

“The CMA Awards is one of the biggest nights of the year for Country Music,” said Bryan in a statement. “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.”

“I mean, 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.”

The 55th Annual CMA Awards will air Wednesday, November 10 on ABC.

Photo by Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

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