Kane Brown Set to Return as CMT Music Awards Co-Host With Kelsea Ballerini: Exclusive


Brown will also appear on CBS hit series Fire Country.

Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini

John Shearer/Getty for CMT

Kane Brown will return as co-host of the CMT Music Awards this year with previously announced co-host Kelsea Ballerini, as he expands his footprint at CBS.

The CMT Music Awards air live from Austin, Texas’ Moody Center on April 2 via CBS. In addition to his co-hosting duties, Brown and his wife, Katelyn, will perform their No. 1 Country Airplay hit “Thank God” for the first time on broadcast television. 



Kane Brown

See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

Five days later on April 7, Brown will make his acting debut on the network’s top-rated new series, Fire Country, where he will play Robin, an outlaw on the run who helps injured patients at a train crash. 


This will be the fourth year in a row that Brown has co-hosted the  show, making him the first four-time host. He co-hosted in 2020 with Sarah Hyland and Ashley McBryde. He and Ballerini first co-hosted together in 2021. She participated remotely last year after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the show. Jeff Foxworthy hosted the show from 2005-07. Kristen Bell hosted or co-hosted from 2012-14.

“Thank God,” the first duet from Kane and Katelyn, is Brown’s ninth trip to the top of the Country Airplay chart and his wife’s first. The Browns mark the second married couple to top Country Airplay with a duet; Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s “It’s Your Love” led the chart  for six weeks in 1997. (Plus, Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” featuring Pistol Annies – with his then-wife Miranda Lambert – and Friends, reigned for a week in 2013.)

It’s the third Country Airplay leader from Brown’s LP Different Man. “One Mississippi” ruled for a week last March, and “Like I Love Country Music” led for a week in August. Starting with Brown’s “Famous Friends” duet with Chris Young, which led for one frame in July 2021, he has rolled up four No. 1s in a row.

This year marks the second time the CMT Music Awards have aired on CBS following the ACM Awards’ move to Amazon’s Prime Video. The fan-voted awards show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. The CMT Awards have aired live since 2005. Last year’s ceremony, also co-hosted by Anthony Mackie, featured the last television performance by The Judds. They sang their 1991 hit “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

—Assistance on this story provided by Paul Grein

Get weekly rundowns straight to your inbox