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Reba McEntire has hosted her last Academy of Country Music Awards show, the legendary singer revealed to CountryWeekly.com this week.
When asked if she’d be returning again next April to the awards show she has hosted for more than a dozen years, first as a solo host and for the past two years with Blake Shelton, she replied, “No. [I’ve] passed the torch to Blake. I’m a huge Blake Shelton fan.”
Reba has emceed the Academy of Country Music Awards show consecutively since 2002 (excluding 2005 when there was no host) and received acclaim for her easygoing, breezy hosting style.
In a statement released by the Academy of Country Music, CEO Bob Romeo said, "Reba has hosted the ACM Awards a record 14 times since 1986, and we fully understand and support her decision to focus her energies on her new television project. We've known about this for a while and have something very special planned with Blake returning—he's got something big up his sleeve!—that we'll be announcing soon. Stay tuned!"
In 2011, fellow Oklahoman Shelton joined as co-host and the two displayed a fun, confident banter. Blake's star has risen substantially since then, thanks in large part to his role as a judge/mentor on The Voice.
The move hardly means Reba will be absent from television. CountryWeekly.com interviewed her on the CBS Studios lot where she is shooting her new ABC comedy, Malibu Country. The sitcom, which also stars Lily Tomlin, bows in November.