2023 CMT Music Awards moves to Austin, Kelsea Ballerini returns as co-host

Carrie Underwood is first performer announced

CMT and CBS together announce the 2023 CMT Music Awards, country’s only entirely fan-voted awards, will air Sunday, April 2, 2023 from 8-11 pm ET/delayed PT live from Austin, Texas’ Moody Center for the first time ever. Paramount Global’s signature country music tentpole returns for its global premiere exclusively via the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

Multi-platinum country superstar Kelsea Ballerini will return as co-host for the third consecutive year, as she revealed tonight (Wed, Nov 2nd) during a major surprise on-stage moment with global powerhouse Carrie Underwood as part of her sold out The Denim & Rhinestones Tour stop in ATX at Moody Center. Underwood, who holds the title as the winningest artist in CMT history, with a total of 25 trophies, was revealed as first performer for the 2023 show.

“Both Austin and Nashville are two of the world’s greatest music cities and we couldn’t be more excited to announce the return of the CMT Music Awards on CBS than with co-host Kelsea Ballerini surprising Carrie Underwood, our most awarded artist, in the middle of her incredible live performance at Moody Center – the exact venue where we’ll all be back exactly five months from today!” share CMT Music Awards executive producers Margaret Comeaux, John Hamlin, Leslie Fram and Jason Owen. “Our fans are in for an unforgettable night of music with plenty of surprises, as the Live Music Capital meets Music City for the first time ever on a national stage in what will be a true country music extravaganza.”

Underwood, whose newest single and music video, “Hate My Heart,” are out now, is currently on her 43-city US arena tour, which kicked off October 15th and continues through spring 2023, with upcoming stops including New York’s Madison Square Garden, Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, and LA’s Crypto.com Arena.

Ballerini returns to the CMT stage for the third time as co-host, on the heels of her busiest year to-date. The award winning songwriter, producer and performer recently released her critically acclaimed fourth studio album, Subject To Change, and wrapped a sold out 10 city headlining run. She is next appearing as part of the historic concert event The Judds: Love Is Alive – The Final Concert, premiering March 2023 on CMT.

For its inaugural year on CBS, the 2022 CMT Music Awards delivered 5.89 million viewers, a 529% increase from June 2021, also dominating on social with 2.7 billion impressions across platforms.

Additional details for the 2023 CMT Music Awards on CBS will be announced soon.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com