This year’s CMA Awards aims to do something that country radio doesn’t: give women in country music their moment in the spotlight. According to a release on Monday morning, the 53rd annual CMAs will be “celebrating legendary women in country music throughout the ceremony.” As a reflection of that mission statement, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire will host the November 13th show.
This will mark Underwood’s 12th time hosting the CMA Awards, after co-hosting as a duo with Brad Paisley since 2008. Parton hosted the CMAs once before in 1988, while McEntire emceed from 1990 (with Randy Travis) to 1992 (with Vince Gill).
Underwood has been outspoken about the status of women in country music and enlisted all female artists — Maddie & Tae and Runaway June — as the opener of her Cry Pretty Tour 360. In an interview with radio personality Elaina Smith in 2018, Underwood said the time had come for “shutting that door on ‘women don’t want to hear women’ because that’s BS. Even when I was growing up I wished there was more women on the radio. And I [heard] a lot more than there are today. Think about all of the little girls that are sitting at home saying, ‘I want to be a country music singer.’ What do you tell them? What do you do? How do you look at them and say, ‘Well, just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it.’ When that’s… not the case right now. ‘Cause I see so many girls out there bustin’ their rear ends and so many guys out there that it’s some new guy out there has a Number One, and I’m like, ‘Good for you, that’s great, but who are you?’”
The nominations for the 53rd CMA Awards will be announced August 28th.