Luke Bryan talks CMA Awards hosting duties, wardrobe changes + performance surprise

With the 2023 CMA Awards fast approaching, Luke Bryan‘s giving ABC Audio a behind-the-scenes look at how he and Peyton Manning are preparing to host Country Music’s Biggest Night.

“We do a lot of Zoom calls reading the script with all the executives and people at the CMA. So they’re on the calls and we start reading them and working on our timing and stuff like that. And then we start adding or taking away stuff from the script. Sometimes they write for you, but that’s just not how you say it. So we’re just kind of tweaking the script to make it really work for us,” he explains.

But it’s not all work and no play for the hosts.

“I would say [it gets fun] when we start getting onstage [and] reading it from the prompter,” Luke says. “I mean, what’s interesting about Peyton is [that] he comes from a football background, game plans. We’re going to do this, that, this. So he likes to have his ducks in a row. And I’m typically a little more loose and off the cuff. But he’s pretty focused in.”

How many wardrobe changes can audiences expect?

“I think I’ll probably have two or three changes and Peyton maybe the same. The guys don’t have to get too caught up in all that,” says Luke. “I mean, like I said, at the end of the day, Peyton’s a football player. If he changes too many times, some of his old teammates will probably call him out on it.”

On top of hosting, Luke will deliver a medley of his #1 hits with “a little surprise” and a “metaphorical beer in my hand.”

The 57th CMA Awards air live from Nashville Wednesday, November 8, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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