According to Billboard, Bentley let the news slip during his keynote interview at the 2018 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. The “Woman, Amen” singer was in the midst of a wide-ranging discussion about his career and, noticing a photo of himself and Bryan from a previous year of hosting the ACM Awards, remarked, “That’s over. … We got fired. Is that not common knowledge?”
Bentley’s manager and the ACM have both confirmed the news. Although the show’s next host or hosts have not been revealed, the ACM expects to make an announcement in the coming weeks.
Bentley and Bryan served as co-hosts the annual ACM Awards for the past two years. Bentley replaced Blake Shelton, who hosted with Bryan for three years before that. Bryan was a replacement for Reba McEntire, who teamed up with Shelton for two years starting in 2011. Prior to that, McEntire was the show’s sole host for ten consecutive years beginning in 2001, and also led the ceremony five additional times. Other notable hosts over the years include Vince Gill, Brooks & Dunn with Faith Hill, Loretta Lynn with Roger Miller, Dick Clark and many others.
Even without their hosting duties, Bentley and Bryan will stay busy this spring and summer. Bentley’s ninth studio album, The Mountain, is set for release early this year and he’ll headline a tour with Brothers Osborne and Lanco beginning May 17th. Bryan will continue to serve as a judge on the ABC reboot of American Idol, and has plans to embark on a headlining tour with Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce and Morgan Wallen, plus a series of stadium shows with Sam Hunt.
This year’s ACM Awards are set to air April 15th from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.