Kelsea Ballerini and CMT are being forced to alter their original plans, after the singer tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the CMT Music Awards. Ballerini announced the disappointing news in a video shared by CMT on social media, revealing that she would still host the ceremony, albeit from the comfort of her own home.
“All right friends, I have some bad news, and I have some good news,” Ballerini began. “The bad news is that, a couple of 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. I am gutted. But the good news is I am feeling a lot better. A lot better. And the incredible CMT family and my team have brought part of the CMT set to my house, to my little bubble, and set it up so I can still host and perform.
“It is certainly not what we expected or planned for, but we are doing our damn best,” she continued. “So I will still see you tonight on the awards, and let’s make some lemonade together out of these very bitter lemons. I’m so sorry. But have so much fun for me, through going to the show. And if you’re watching on TV, I will see you there.”
— CMT (@CMT) April 11, 2022
“I’m thrilled to be returning as host at this year’s CMT Awards with Anthony Mackie!” Ballerini said when the news of her hosting the awards show was announced. “This award show is always a special one, as it revolves around the fans and celebrates their favorite artists. This year is especially cool to be a part of as CMT grows into a network spot and expands for even more fans to get involved. It’s going to be a big one and I can’t wait!”
More than a dozen artists are slated to perform, including Bryan Adams with Jason Aldean, Walker Hayes, Jimmie Allen with Little Big Town and Monica, Thomas Rhett with Riley Green, Kenny Chesney, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton with Black Pumas, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris with Ryan Hurd, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce, Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, as well as the first televised performance in over 20 years from the legendary duo The Judds.
The 2022 CMT Music Awards will air live from Nashville on Monday, April 11, at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.