CMT Awards Co-host Kelsea Ballerini Tests Positive for Covid - Rolling Stone
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CMT Music Awards Host Kelsea Ballerini Tests Positive for Covid, Will Co-Host ‘Remotely’

Kane Brown will join previously announced co-host Anthony Mackie onstage in Nashville

Kelsea Ballerini, CMT AwardsKelsea Ballerini, CMT Awards

Kelsea Ballerini will co-host the CMT Awards from home after testing positive for Covid-19.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty

Timing, alas, is everything. Kelsea Ballerini was set to co-host Monday night’s CMT Music Awards live from Nashville, but the country music star announced this morning that she had tested positive for Covid-19. Ballerini will still co-host, however — albeit remotely from her home. In an Instagram video post, she says she’ll perform too.

“I have some bad news and I have some good news,” Ballerini said. “A couple days ago, I tested positive for Covid. And the CMT Awards are tonight. So unfortunately I cannot be there in person anymore and I am devastated.”

According to a statement from CMT, the “Half of My Hometown” singer is asymptomatic, and Ballerini says she’s “feeling a lot better.” So much so that she’s still going to perform. “[They] brought part of the CMT set to my house, to my little bubble, and set it up to where I can still host and perform…We’re doing our damn best,” she said. “Let’s make some lemonade together out of these very bitter lemons.”

Ballerini’s co-host, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie, will continue to host live from Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. He’ll be joined by Kane Brown, who co-hosted the awards last year with Ballerini. Brown leads his fellow artists with four total nominations, including Video of the Year for “One Mississippi.”

Ballerini, who recently became the new face of Covergirl, released her new song “Heartfirst” last week.

The CMT Music Awards air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET and will livestream simultaneously on Paramount+.

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