CMT Music Awards 2022: Kelsea Ballerini Tests Positive for COVID-19, Will Co-Host Remotely

Kelsea Ballerini Anthony Mackie
Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Kelsea Ballerini has tested positive for COVID-19 and will co-host the 2022 CMT Music Awards remotely with Anthony Mackie. The awards show is set to broadcast live from Nashville tonight, Monday, April 11, on CBS and will stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.

The award show has tapped singer and nominee Kane Brown — who co-hosted the 2021 CMT Music Awards with Ballerini — to take the stage with Mackie in her place.

“CMT Music Awards co-host Kelsea Ballerini tested positive for COVID-19,” a CMT spokesperson said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). “Fortunately, she is asymptomatic and remains excited to co-host the show (remotely). Kelsea’s good friend Kane Brown, who co-hosted with her last year, has graciously agreed to step in alongside Anthony Mackie. The three of them have lots of surprises up their sleeves and fans can look forward to an epic show!”

Country music’s only fan-voted awards show was originally supposed to take place April 3. But due to concerns about the Omicron variant, the 2022 Grammy Awards — which also aired live on CBS and Paramount+ — were pushed back to that date. The CMT Music Awards were then bumped to April 11. This year’s broadcast marks the award show’s first time airing on CBS.

The CMT Music Awards broadcast and livestream will air from 8-11 p.m. ET.

“It’s official: Our three-hour Nashville extravaganza will be LIVE on CBS on April 11 for the first time as part of the Network’s biggest month of music ever,” CMT Music Awards executive producers Margaret Comeaux, John Hamlin, and Leslie Fram said in a statement. “Expect the most unforgettable CMT Music Awards yet, jam-packed with the most star-power, world premiere performances and one-of-a-kind collaborations from in and around Music City.”

“The CMT brand is preeminent in the world of country music, and we are thrilled that their team was able to coordinate a new date to bring this marquee event for television to CBS, and maximize the power of the ViacomCBS universe behind it,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music, Live Events & Alternative Programming, CBS.

Brown is this year’s most-nominated artist at the CMT Music Awards. He’s nominated for Video of the Year, Male Video of the Year, and has two nominations in the CMT Performance of the Year category. Performers include Keith Urban, Carly Pearce, Mickey Guyton with Black Pumas, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean with Bryan Adams, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, and Kenny Chesney.

2022 CMT Music Awards, Monday, April 11, 8/7c, CBS and Paramount+