Not that there was any question about the kind of person Brad Paisley is, but the longtime country star showed his true colors after news of this year’s CMA Awards hosts broke yesterday (August 19). Basically, he’s a class act.
For background, Paisley and fellow superstar Carrie Underwood had been co-hosts of the national-TV blowout for 11 consecutive years — until Monday, that is. The Country Music Association, which puts on the show, announced that Paisley won’t be returning to make corny-but-lovable jokes at the expense of his peers for the 53rd annual event, but Underwood will. Instead of her longtime comedic foil, she’ll be joined by icons Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, a lineup that will “celebrate the legendary women of country music” and undoubtedly warm the hearts of fans young and old alike.
As exciting as that is, it would only be natural for Paisley to be a little disappointed. And there are plenty of cynics decrying the CMA for “caving” to the political climate — as if simply acknowledging the importance of women in the genre, despite their more difficult path to stardom, is a bad thing. But Paisley is having none of it, posting a supportive message on Twitter befitting of his good guy reputation.
That’s why he was so good in his role as a co-host for so long, and why he’ll be missed. He didn’t have to respond at all, and once again has set an example worthy of looking up to. The issues facing women in country certainly won’t be solved at the CMA Awards, but the show enjoys such a huge platform its producers would be wrong not to make themselves part of the solution.
And hey, there’s no reason Paisley can’t steal the show with a hilarious cameo or two, right?