Kane Brown Joins Kelsea Ballerini as 2023 CMT Music Awards Co-Host

The 2023 CMT Music Awards will see two familiar faces as Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini will co-host.

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On Thursday (Feb. 23), it was revealed that Brown will join previously announced co-host Ballerini at the awards show taking place in Austin, Texas, at the Moody Center on April 2. In addition to hosting, Brown will also perform with his wife Katelyn for the live TV debut of their chart-topping duet, “Thank God.” The show will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.

Brown and Ballerini hosted the CMT Music Awards together for the first time in 2021 and again in 2022, alongside actor Anthony Mackie, with Ballerini doing her hosting duties remotely after testing positive for COVID-19 in the latter year. In November 2022, Ballerini announced that she would be returning as co-host and that Carrie Underwood –the most-winning artist in CMT Awards history–would be performing at the show. Ballerini made the announcement by surprising Underwood onstage during her show in Austin at the Moody Center on her Denim & Rhinestones Tour.

“I had really big FOMO (fear of missing out),” Ballerini laughs in a behind-the-scenes video about having to host the show from home in 2022. “So I’m excited to be all up in it this year in person.”

“Our fans are in for an unforgettable night of music with plenty of surprises, as the Live Music Capital meets Music City for the first time ever on a national stage in what will be a true country music extravaganza,” CMT Awards Executive Producers Leslie Fram, Jason Owen, Margaret Comeaux and John Hamlin said in a joint press statement.

Days after the CMT Music Awards, Brown will make his acting debut on the CBS series, Fire Country, about a man named Bode Donovan who, in an effort to reduce his prison time, volunteers for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in his hometown. Brown will play the character of Robin, a train hopper with an empathetic side who helps those injured at the site of a train crash. The episode airs on April 7.

Photo Credit: John Shearer/Getty for CMT/Courtesy of CMT & CBS

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