What’s in a host? CMA Awards pros share secrets

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brad Paisley wants to thank Hank Williams Jr. for clashing with ESPN a few weeks ago.

The “Monday Night Football” controversy will make great fodder for jokes at the Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday.

“I love the creative writing process of coming up with ways to lampoon what’s happened in the last year, whether that be in country music or the news,” said Paisley.

He is co-hosting the show with Carrie Underwood for the fourth year in a row. It’s a job that requires charisma, timing and, according to veteran CMA host Vince Gill, self-discipline.

Gill said the only thing he learned from 12 years at the helm was to “know when to shut up.”

He said hosting the three-hour live telecast is “really quite a dance.” It involves watching the clock and improvising when things don’t go as planned.

Ultimately, Paisley and Gill agree that the job is really about making everyone look good. So Hank Jr. shouldn’t worry too much.

“I love it, because we’re all so nice,” said Paisley. “We’re not going to go out there and make people feel bad. It’s not a Comedy Central roast.”

The CMAs will air live from Nashville on ABC (8 p.m. EST Wednesday).

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

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Online:

http://www.cmaawards.com

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