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When you tune in to the 38th Annual CMA Awards, you might think to yourself, "Hey - that's not Vince Gill!" And you'd be right.
After 12 years as host or co-host of the event known as "Country's Biggest Night," Vince is stepping down this year. Stepping up: country's most successful duo, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn.
Never fear - anyone who has spent time with Kix and Ronnie can tell you that their back-and-forth banter qualifies them for full-time comedy work, so they should have no trouble making a smooth transition for viewers from Vince's friendly charm. The two are thrilled to have been entrusted to guide viewers through the show, which begins at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 9, broadcasting live from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Kix hopes to be able to live up to the legacy left by Vince, whom he calls "a friend and an amazing entertainer who made hosting the awards look effortless."
Vince's advice to the duo is to remember that it's about all the musicians on the show - not just the host. "The thing I knew first is that this show isn't about me," he says. "It's about what we all do." Heeding those words, Kix and Ronnie sound suitably humble about their new gig. "To be able to be a part of bringing all these great acts together, and then sharing it with fans across the country, that's pretty awesome," says Ronnie.
"The CMA Awards are a chance to recognize the best music of the past year, and to come together as a community," adds Kix. "For us, it's all about honoring our peers."
To read about the Entertainer of the Year nominees , which include Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, and Toby Keith, pick up the new Country Weekly on newsstands today!