CMA Awards 2020: performers, presenters and how to watch

Like everything this year, it will be different.

But like several other award presentations since the coronavirus pandemic arrived, the show will go on.

On Nov. 11, the 54th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville — this year from Music City Center instead of its usual home of Bridgestone Arena across the street — at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker will keep the proceedings rolling as co-hosts and the ceremony will allow presenters and performers to converge in the same room — albeit with major social distancing. As evidence of the strict safety protocols in place, singer Lee Brice and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard have already been nixed from the show because they tested positive for the virus before arriving for any show-related rehearsals or activities. Brice was scheduled to perform with Carly Pearce, but Lady A’s Charles Kelley will now join her instead for “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

Thomas Rhett gets the crowd warmed up in 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Valdosta native is nominated for two CMA Awards in 2020 and will also perform. Robb Cohen Photography & Video /RobbsPhotos.com
Thomas Rhett gets the crowd warmed up in 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Valdosta native is nominated for two CMA Awards in 2020 and will also perform. Robb Cohen Photography & Video /RobbsPhotos.com

Credit: Robb D. Cohen

Credit: Robb D. Cohen

While this year’s slate of nominees is lighter than usual with Georgia artists, the state will still be represented by Lady A and Little Big Town (nominated for vocal group of the year), Florida Georgia Line (vocal duo of the year) and Thomas Rhett (male vocalist of the year and musical event of the year for “Be a Light”).

On the performance side, Macon’s Jason Aldean will open the show; Chris Stapleton will perform his new single, “Starting Over”; Charlie Puth sings with Gabby Barrett; Rhett will gather McEntire, Hillary Scott (of Lady A) and Chris Tomlin to re-create “Be a Light”; and other heavyweights, such as Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Maren Morris and Rascal Flatts, will also take the stage.

Fans can also keep an eye out for presenters Lauren Alaina (a Rossville native), Charles Esten (“Nasvhille”), Sara Evans, Jake Owen, CeCe Winans and Patrick Schwarzenegger.

In addition to airing on ABC and the network’s app, the show will also stream via Hulu, YouTube TV and FuboTV. For a full list of nominees, visit cmaawards.com.

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