Tonight may be Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker‘s first time hosting the CMA Awards together, but it’s instantly obvious the two have chemistry. 

“This year is a really crazy year and different,” Darius explains, “and to be hosting with Reba is such an honor. We’re gonna try to just get the performers on the stage… and be good hosts and have a lot of fun. And hopefully, you know, we laugh a lot.”

“Yeah,” Reba picks up, “because everything has happened with the pandemic, the quarantine, we’re gonna try to keep it light, be funny.”

“That’s up to you,” she adds, turning to Darius, who immediately breaks up.

“See? That’s all I got to say, and he starts laughing,” Reba prods.

“‘Cause you make me laugh!” Darius cackles. 

Of course, there will be some serious moments, including a super-secret duet by the co-hosts.

“We’re really proud of it,” Darius reflects. “It’s something we’re really excited to get to sing together. You know, can’t give too much away… But it’s gonna be something really special to us.”

“We do have a lot of people that we’re going to acknowledge, because of their passing,” Reba continues. “The tributes and things, [I’m] looking forward to that, because those folks have done so much for us to pave the way for Darius and me to be doing what we’re doing today.”

Reba will also perform the CMA-nominated “Be a Light” with Thomas RhettHillary Scott, and Chris Tomlin, while Lady A will join Darius to do his hit, “Beers and Sunshine.”

Charles [Kelley] is my best friend in the business…” Darius says.

“I gotta find you new friends!” Reba jokes, quickly adding, “Love you Charles!”

Country Music’s Biggest Night kicks off at 8 p.m. ET, live from Nashville, on ABC. 

By Stephen Hubbard
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