Here’s what to expect from tonight’s CMA Awards, with or without Maren Morris

A woman with long blond hair wearing a hat and vest and holding a guitar
Lainey Wilson received the most nominations for the 2022 CMA Awards.
(Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press)

The 56th CMA Awards on Wednesday night will bring together the stars of country music in Nashville.

The annual music ceremony will air live on ABC on the East Coast starting at 8 p.m. from Tennessee’s Bridgestone Arena. A prerecorded version of the show will come to the West Coast at 8 p.m. Pacific. ABC’s “On The Red Carpet” will begin streaming its live preshow at 3:30 p.m. Pacific on Hulu and its website.

Here’s what else you need to know about this year’s CMA Awards.

Who’s hosting?

Country-music superstar and “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan will return to emcee the Country Music Assn.’s biggest night. He will share hosting duties with football star Peyton Manning.

A multi-time CMA Awards winner, Bryan made his hosting debut at last year’s ceremony. Wednesday’s show will mark Manning’s first go at the country music event, but he’s no stranger to hosting ceremonies. He hosted the ESPY Awards in 2017.

Who’s nominated?

This year’s crop of CMA Awards nominees boasts both familiar and new names. Previous winners Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen and Chris Stapleton are up for entertainer of the year.

Newcomer Lainey Wilson’s first CMA Awards run is off to an impressive start already. With six nominations, the “Things a Man Oughta Know” singer leads the pack of nominees. She is up for album of the year, song of the year and female vocalist of the year, among other categories.

A woman in black holds a microphone and performs onstage
Ashley McBryde performs during CMA Fest 2022 on June 12 in Nashville.
(Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press)

Following closely behind with five nods apiece are Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Stapleton.

Maren Morris and her “Humble Quest” received a nomination for album of the year, but the singer told The Times in September that she might skip this year’s ceremony, following a public feud with Brittany Aldean, the wife of country star and CMA Award nominee Jason Aldean.

Morris, who sparred with Jason and Brittany Aldean over their transphobic social media posts, says that country music is fractured, and that’s not a bad thing.

Sept. 20, 2022


“I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now. So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go,” she said in an interview. “But as of right now, I don’t feel comfortable going.”

Hours before the show, “Good Morning America” unveiled some of this year’s winners Wednesday morning: Cody Johnson for music video for the year (“‘Til You Can’t”) and Pearce and McBryde for musical event of the year (“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”).

McBryde is up for 5 CMA Awards on Wednesday, including female vocalist and song of the year. Her new LP, ‘Lindeville,’ is a song cycle about a fictional town.

Nov. 8, 2022

Who’s performing?

The 56th CMA Awards show touts a packed lineup of performances and tributes. The show will begin with a tribute to late country icon Loretta Lynn, who died in October. Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Underwood will perform the Lynn tribute.

Wednesday’s show will also honor Alan Jackson with a tribute performance by Underwood, Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Jon Pardi.

Loretta Lynn was arguably the most important female figure in postwar country music as her music challenged the norm of domestic life in rural America.

Oct. 4, 2022

There will also be performances by:

  • Jimmie Allen
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Luke Bryan
  • Brandy Clark
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Luke Combs
  • Caylee Hammack
  • Cody Johnson
  • Elle King
  • Marcus King
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Patty Loveless
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Reba McEntire
  • John Osborne
  • Jon Pardi
  • Carly Pearce
  • Katy Perry
  • Pillbox Patti
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Cole Swindell
  • The Black Keys
  • The War and Treaty
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Morgan Wallen
  • Lainey Wilson
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s presenting?

Jessica Chastain in a white dress
“The Good Nurse” actor Jessica Chastain will be among the presenters at the CMA Awards on Wednesday.
(Evan Agostini/ Invision/ Associated Press)

The lineup of presenters boasts some L.A. pride with Dodgers star Mookie Betts among the personalities set to hand out prizes. Actors Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon, who star as country legends Tammy Wynette and George Jones in Showtime’s upcoming series “George & Tammy,” will also present, along with:

  • Breland
  • Jordan Davis
  • Sarah Drew
  • Cole Hauser
  • Tyler Hubbard
  • Wynonna Judd
  • Lady A
  • Rex Linn
  • Little Big Town
  • Parker McCollum
  • Reba McEntire
  • Ben and Erin Napier
  • Lionel Richie
  • Jeannie Seely
  • Lainey Wilson