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Toby Keith, Kristen Bell Talk Up the CMT Music Awards

Toby's a fan of Kristen's acting.

You won’t often find Toby Keith at the traditional country music awards shows, but the Big Dog Daddy has been a perennial performer, attendee and nominee at the annual party honoring the best in country videos, the CMT Music Awards. And this year, he’s even hosting the big show, alongside actress Kristen Bell.

“I did it several years ago [in 2003] with Pamela Anderson and I think the timing was right to have me back,” Toby tells “With the amount of attention ‘Red Solo Cup’ got and me having done it before, and being a guy who has won probably as many CMT awards as anybody, I think it all tied in.”

For her part, the famously funny Kristen says she has no idea how she landed the gig. “Hell if I know,” she deadpans. “I presented at a couple different country shows in the past and I’m a fan of country music. When they called and invited me, I was thrilled.” As well as a bit curious to see if the rumors are true about Toby. “I hear he is very tall,” says Kristen, who stars in the upcoming comedy Hit & Run with her boyfriend, Dax Shepard, “which will probably make me feel really comfortable because Dax is tall, too.”

For his part, Toby is excited to work alongside a former cast member of one of his favorite westerns. “I was a big Deadwood fan,” he says of the acclaimed HBO drama, which cast Kristen as a scheming con artist. “My buddy [actor] W. Earl Brown played a big role and Kristen was in that with him.”

Along with Toby and Lady Antebellum (“They often come up in the shower for me,” she says of Lady A), Kristen is a huge admirer of Miranda Lambert. “Her last record blew my mind,” she says. “And the song ‘Virginia Bluebell’ [from Revolution] is permanently in my head. I love Miranda as a whole. Just her crazy little country butt holding guns and yet being supergirly!”

Perhaps Kristen will get to meet ’Ran—she’s set to sing with Pistol Annies.

Meanwhile, Willie Nelson will perform with special guests Toby, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson and Darius Rucker on Willie's new song, "Roll It Up." Also performing on the CMT Music Awards are Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and many other stars. Brad Paisley and Hank Williams Jr. are also set to join forces on a song from Hank's upcoming new album, Old School . . . New Rules.

The CMT Music Awards air Wednesday night (June 6) at 8 p.m. ET on CMT and


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