We now know who will be handing out trophies at this year’s CMA Awards. Keith Urban, Martina McBride and Chris Young have been announced as presenters, along with Paula Abdul, Bill Anderson, comedian Nate Bargatze, Jordan Davis, Brian Kelley, Lady A, Broadway actor Kevin Cahoon, Craig Morgan, Parker McCollum, Golden Bachelor star Gerry Turner, actress and singer Cynhia Erivao, Hailey Whitters and World Series MVP, Corey Seager.
The presenters join an all-star list of performers, including Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, HARDY, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Ashley McBryde, Cody Johnson, War and Treaty, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, Chris Stapleton, Carly Pearce, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Megan Moroney, K. Michelle, Tanya Tucker, and the show’s host, Luke Bryan, who will co-host the ceremony with Peyton Manning.
Wilson leads the list of nominees with nine nods, followed by Jelly Roll with five nods. Combs and HARDY each have four nominations, while Davis, McBryde, Stapleton and Wallen have three nods each.
“I used to wait outside just so I could get a free wristband, hoping that I could be in the pit,” Wilson recalled to the New York Post. “Or I’d save up my money, and I’d buy a ticket in the nosebleeds. And I would go buy an outfit just to get all dressed up and feel like I was a part of it. And I would look down on the floor, and I would see all of these artists who I’m inspired by.”
In 2022, Wilson won both Female Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year, serving as an official welcome to Wilson, who for years waited patiently to have any form of success in country music.
“When last year happened, I just felt like I was a part of the community,” Wilson says. “I felt very embraced. It made me feel like, ‘Wow, I’m really starting to gain the respect of my peers and the people that I look up to in this industry.’ And when that happens, it just kind of lights another fire under you.”
Jelly Roll is also overwhelmed to have received five nominations, only a few years after making his mark in country music.
“It is known as Country Music’s biggest night,” Jelly Roll said on social media. “It literally doesn’t get any bigger than this and I have five nominations. I couldn’t control myself when I got the news… everything about this is unreal. The truth is, being nominated is already a win for me. Just being recognized by my peers and by the industry for the work we put in is amazing, especially for my people, this is a win for all the underdogs and forgotten.
“These are the moments I hope my people are the most proud of, that I have taken our message to the masses without compromise and have been embraced,” he continues. “Thank you to the CMA Country Music Association. This is magical and you can bet the farm that my wife and I will show up dressed to impress yet trashy as ever – see y’all November 8th.”
The 2023 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, November 8, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. More information can be found at CMAAwards.com.