In a lengthy Instagram post, the country singer praised Brad Paisley her “partner in crime and friend for life” with whom she has shared the stage for a decade. She also called out her 2019 co-hosts and “all-time heroes” Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.
“It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together," Underwood revealed. "So I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do.”
Underwood, who recently wrapped a 60-city arena tour and has a fitness book coming out in March, added that she has “many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond.”
The CMA Awards' executive producer, Robert Deaton, told Variety in November that he hoped Underwood, McEntire and Parton would return as co-hosts for 2020.
"I would love to have the three of them back, personally," Deaton said. "I think that's a magical combination and that magic would not go away for a while."
But the association fully supports Underwood's decision to move on, and posted a tribute to the seven-time Grammy winner on its Instagram page.
"We love you, Carrie! You’ll always be family to us," the message reads. "Thanks for 12 amazing years hosting the #CMAawards. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond to help spread Country Music to fans around the world!"
Though Underwood's fans are just as supportive, many are expressing disappointment.
As one person wrote, “Can we get one more cohost from you and brad??? Please I need you guys one more time.”