The CMA Awards will take place in their longtime home at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena this week, bringing the biggest names and brightest new stars in the genre on one stage for one night. There’s a slight facelift this year with the addition of a new, non-musical co-host — pro football star Peyton Manning — but things look to be more or less routine for the long-running show, now in its 56th year. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2022 CMA Awards, from performers to nominees and more.
When Are the 2022 CMA Awards?
The 56th CMA Awards are airing live this Wednesday, Nov. 9 from Nashville.
How Can I Watch the CMA Awards?
This iteration of the CMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET on ABC as well as on the ABC app. Streaming services like Hulu, YouTube TV, fuboTV, and DirectTV Stream will also carry the broadcast so you can watch the CMAs online without cable.
Both fuboTV and DirectTV Stream have free trials that you can use to watch the CMAs online for free.
Ahead of the CMA Awards, ABC networks air a slew of special programming. Given Peyton Manning’s day job with the NFL, he’ll welcome Luke Bryan as a guest on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Nov. 7 when the Baltimore Ravens take on the New Orleans Saints. At 10 p.m. ET on Monday, ABC airs On the Road to the CMA Awards, a preview show with appearances by Kane Brown, Carly Pearce, and Wynonna Judd. Jimmy Kimmel Live! also leans into country this week, with appearances by Breland (Nov. 8) and Lainey Wilson (Nov. 9). Wednesday and Thursday’s episodes of Good Morning America look behind the scenes at the CMA Awards, and on Awards night itself, ABC airs its red-carpet coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET with hosts Roshumba Williams and George Pennacchio. The first hour will be streamed live online via ontheredcarpet.com and ABC apps for streaming devices, while the second half hour leading into the show will simulcast on ABC television affiliates.
Who’s Hosting the CMA Awards?
CMA Entertainer of the Year winner and American Idol judge Luke Bryan made his debut as the show’s host in 2021. He’ll return in 2022, but this time he’ll have a little help quarterbacking the event from new co-host, NFL great (and former University of Tennessee Volunteer) Peyton Manning. Behind-the-scenes video shows the two goofing off and drawing up “plays” on a whiteboard while they record promos for the show. Since retiring from the NFL in 2016, Manning has been a regular television fixture as an analyst and advertising pitch man, appearing alongside Brad Paisley in a series of Nationwide insurance commercials.
Who’s Nominated at the CMA Awards?
Lainey Wilson got her first CMA nominations this year, and also got the most of anyone with six total. The “Heart Like a Truck” singer will vie for Album of the Year (for Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’) and Female Vocalist of the Year, among others. Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde each received five nominations, as did Shane McAnally and Chris Stapleton. Other multiple nominees this year include Cody Johnson, Josh Osborne, Luke Combs, Hardy, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood.
Is Morgan Wallen Performing at the CMA Awards?
Yes. After being uninvited from the 2021 CMA Awards for an incident in which he used a racial slur, Wallen will be back on country music’s biggest stage in 2022 with a performance of “You Proof,” a new track. Additionally, Wallen is nominated for several awards including Male Vocalist of the Year and the night’s top prize, Entertainer of the Year.
OK, What About Jason Aldean?
It doesn’t appear so. Aldean, who has been facing public backlash since his wife posted a transphobic video on Instagram, hasn’t been much of a presence at the CMA Awards in some time. His last trophy came in 2011 and he skipped the show altogether in 2019. This year he’s nominated for Musical Event of the Year for “If I Didn’t Love You,” his duet with Carrie Underwood, but the former CMA Awards co-host looks to be performing her new song “Hate My Heart” alone.
Who Else Is Performing at the CMA Awards?
The show will open with an all-star tribute to the late, great Loretta Lynn. There will also be a tribute to Alan Jackson from Dierks Bentley, Lainey Wilson, Jon Pardi, and Carrie Underwood. Jerry Lee Lewis, who died Oct. 28, will get his acknowledgement in a performance by Elle King and the Black Keys. Elsewhere, collaborations are numerous: Kelsea Ballerini will be joined by Carly Pearce and Kelly Clarkson for “You’re Drunk, Go Home”; Brothers Osborne will perform the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)” with the War and Treaty; Hardy and Lainey Wilson will sing “Wait in the Truck”; Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry will reprise their duet “Where We Started”; Zac Brown Band will bring out Jimmie Allen and Marcus King for “Out in the Middle”; Ashley McBryde will be joined by Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti, and John Osborne for “When Will I Be Loved”; and Chris Stapleton will bless everyone with a rare Patty Loveless appearance to sing “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” Additional performers include co-host Bryan, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Carly Pearce, Cole Swindell, and Carrie Underwood.
Will Taylor Swift Be There?
Taylor Swift is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version)” with Chris Stapleton. It hasn’t been confirmed whether she will attend the event or not.
Who’s Presenting at the CMA Awards?
Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts, actors Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain (who play George Jones and Tammy Wynette in an upcoming miniseries), and Yellowstone star Cole Hauser will all give out awards. So will HGTV stars Ben and Erin Napier, along with singers Breland, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna Judd, Jordan Davis, Little Big Town, and longtime Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely.
Who Are the New Artists to Watch at the CMA Awards?
Lainey Wilson, of course, who has her first New Artist of the Year nomination. Wilson’s duet partner Hardy is also nominated in the category and has had a huge hand in guiding the current sound of Nashville as a songwriter. And, he’s hardly what we’d consider “new,” but Cody Johnson’s wide breakthrough in 2022 has put him on the path to superstardom. They’re pitted against Parker McCollum and another late bloomer, “Fancy Like” singer Walker Hayes.