Kelsea Ballerini is now a seasoned pro when it comes to hosting award shows, but she’s stepping into new territory come this Sunday’s 2024 CMT Music Awards.

For the first time, the singer is taking the stage solo after three years co-hosting the show with friend Kane Brown.

Ahead of the show, Ballerini shares with Taste of Country that while she feels ready for the run of the event itself, she forgot one niche detail that could be an issue.

“I always wear these really large heels, and I always had an arm to grab on to, to walk all the steps on the stage,” she says. “So, what could go wrong? So much!”

She light-heartedly jokes, because with age and life lived, there aren’t too many things that will leave her feeling embarrassed. Ballerini stands by the notion that life is short and you need to learn to laugh at yourself.

“I feel like it’s my job to make sure everyone’s having a good time,” she explains. “This is such a big, beautiful arena. So many people are watching at home — I just want to kinda make sure I’m keeping the energy up, pulse-check, keeping it light and celebratory.”

The CMT Music Awards will air live from Austin, Texas, at the new Moody Center. Since it's a fan-voted awards show, there won't be a lack of fan cheers, which helps Ballerini in her hosting journey.

She herself is nominated for Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year, and she's performing, too.

What’s Backstage Like at the CMT Music Awards?

Ballerini describes the backstage vibe, put simply, as a mix of the chaos that comes with any live awards show, as well as the best family reunion you could ask for as you pass other artists post-win or waiting in the wings to perform.

In fact, Ballerini shares a fond backstage memory from last year's event that involved Wynonna Judd:

“She was doing an interview, and sometimes I forget I should not always just hug people as I see fit,” she says with a smile. “So, I just ran down the hallway and hugged her! It really is a such a community, and backstage really does feel like a reunion.”

Where to Watch the 2024 CMT Music Awards

The 2024 CMTs will air live on CBS on Sunday, April 7 at 8PM ET. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. This will be the second year the show finds its home in Moody Center.

Per Ballerini, fan should an expect an emotional tribute to the late Toby Keith — it's the first major awards show since his death in February, and the boots to fill are quite large.

See Photos of All the Performances at the 2023 CMT Music Awards

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