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Darius Rucker Is ‘Very Nervous’ About Co-Hosting the CMA Awards With Reba McEntire

Darius Rucker has admitted to some nerves surrounding his hosting of the 2020 CMA Awards alongside co-presenter Reba McEntire. And who wouldn’t be nervous?

After all, the legendary country songstress has a history hosting the show, including co-hosting last year’s CMA Awards with Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton. Before that, the hosting team of Brad Paisley and Underwood ran the show for ten years. Now, it’s Rucker’s turn to emcee the proceedings along with McEntire.

No doubt, the Hootie and the Blowfish singer-turned-solo-country-crooner has some big shoes to fill. But TV’s Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest did their best to assuage Rucker’s nerves when the musician video-phoned into Live with Kelly and Ryan this week (Nov. 4).

Voicing her own sense of nervousness when it comes to hosting shows outside of Live, Ripa asked the singer if he feels the same.

“I was very nervous, ’cause I’ve never done anything like that before,” Rucker says. “And it’s funny because my manager called me and said, you know, ‘Are you sitting down?’ And so my first thought was, ‘Oh, goodness.'”

Unlike the recent 2020 ACM Awards, which saw performers and presenters spread out at multiple locations because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 CMAs will find all involved with the show in one place. It’s a fact Rucker says is due to some stringent distancing guidelines.

“Yeah, we’re really proud — and I’m really excited and just blown away — about the social distancing and how careful everyone has been,” he explains. “But all the performers will be there; the nominees will be there. Everybody will be social-distanced and spread out. It’ll be the first time, really, that the country music family’s been in one room all year.”

Will Rucker also be performing at the CMA Awards this year? You bet!

The musician says he’s “lucky” to “get to do something really special with McEntire. “We’ve got something that we’re really excited about — and, no, I can’t tell you [what it is]. And I’m also gonna do a thing with Lady A, we’re gonna do [Rucker’s own] ‘Beers and Sunshine.'”

The 2020 CMA Awards will air Nov. 11 at 8PM ET on ABC. Find the full list of nominees here. Performers during the ceremony will include Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett and more.

Remember: The best way to watch the 2020 CMAs is on TV, with ToC on your phone!

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