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CMA Awards: Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley back as emcees

August 26, 2009 | 10:53 am


Music award season is upon us. The eligibility period for the 2010 Grammy Awards ends Monday, and today Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley were announced as returning hosts for the 2009 Country Music Assn. Awards. The CMAs will air live for the East Coast on Nov. 11 on ABC.

Underwood is reigning "entertainer of the year" champion at the rival Academy of Country Music Awards, breaking a lock that Kenny Chesney had on the category. She's also been named female vocalist of the year at the CMAs three years running, and Paisley has owned the male title for the last two years. All told, Paisley has 11 CMA trophies to his name, and Underwood five.

The CMAs are open to the public, and tickets will go on sale Sept. 19 via Ticketmaster. Tickets start at $110, not including surcharges, and top out at $382.50. The CMAs will once again be held at the Sommet Center in Nashville. Nominations for the 2009 awards will be announced in early to mid-September. A spokesman said details are "still being finalized" before the nomination date can be revealed.

While country has two major awards dedicated specifically to the genre, expect a larger Nashville presence to be felt throughout the entire 2009-10 music award season. Young star Taylor Swift may very well end up with 2009's top-selling album in "Fearless," and she's become a major part of MTV's current branding campaign for its upcoming Video Music Awards.

Country stars are a major presence on the charts these days. Reba McEntire holds the No. 1 album this week with her "Keep On Loving You"; last week, the top spot belonged to George Strait's "Twang," this week's No. 2 album. Last but not least, the Recording Academy is making a greater outreach than in years  past with its Grammy Awards. The group, as previously reported, will stage its first ever "Grammy Salute to Country Music" on Sept. 8 in Nashville, which will honor Vince Gill.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Carrie Underwood at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times