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Ballerini shared the news with fans on Instagram.
“All right friends, I have some bad news, and I have some good news,” Ballerini said in a video. “The bad news is that a couple of days ago I tested positive for COVID, and the CMT Awards are tonight, so unfortunately I cannot be there in person anymore.”
The country music star is set to perform her new single, “Heartfirst.” However, the performance will now happen from Ballerine’s home.
“The incredible CMT team and my team have bought part of the CMT set to my house, to my little bubble, and set it up to where I can still host and perform,” Ballerini revealed. “It is certainly not what we had expected or planned for, but we are doing our damn best. … Let’s make some lemonade together out of these very bitter lemons.”
The CMT Music Awards team and CBS tapped leading nominee Kane Brown to step in alongside Anthony Mackie from Nashville.
Brown has previously hosted the award show twice.
“I’m honored the team at CBS and CMT asked me to step in as a co-host and I am so glad to be back again hosting for a bonus third year,” Brown said in a statement. “Everyone has been working hard to put on an amazing show for the fans and I’m excited to get to work with Anthony and Kelsea and have a great night that celebrates country music.”
The CMT Music Awards will feature performances by Kenny Chesney, Mickey Guyton and Black Pumas, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd, Old Dominion, Carly Pearce, Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.
The Judds are also reuniting at the CMT Music Awards for their first major awards show performance in over two decades.
Underwood is the most awarded artist in CMT history with 23 prior wins and has a chance to extend her lead with nominations for music video of the year and collaborative video of the year for her duet with Jason Aldean, “If I Didn’t Love You.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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