Carrie Underwood Doesn’t Attend CMA Awards For The First Time In 18 Years

Fans are outraged that Underwood didn’t win.

By

Melanie Rooten

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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Posted on November 9, 2023

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Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of Jeff Johnson

Carrie Underwood was a no-show at “Country Music’s Biggest Night.” Despite being nominated for Entertainer of the Year, the top honor of the night at the 57th Annual CMA Awards, alongside stars like Chris Stapleton, Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, and winner Lainey Wilson, country music fans were stunned that 41-time CMA Award nominee and 7-time CMA Award winner was absent from the star-studded event.

Was Carrie Underwood At The CMA Awards?

The either-time GRAMMY Award winner and three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year was nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the 2023 CMA Awards for the sixth time in her career, failing to make an appearance at the beloved award show despite being recognized for such a prestigious award.

Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of CMA/ABC
Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of CMA/ABC

Prior to the show, Underwood shared with ABC that it was “such an honor” to be nominated for Entertainer of the Year nonetheless, but did not confirm or deny if she would be attending the event.

“It is, I mean, obviously such an honor to be nominated in Entertainer of the Year. Obviously, that’s such a tough category to be in, because there’s just so — I don’t even want to call it competition — there’s just so many hardworking artists out there that are just pouring themselves and their time and their energy and their love and their artistry into what they do,” the chart-topping singer-songwriter shared.

She continued, “Just to even be in the final category is just absolutely amazing and hopefully, above all, we can all just remember that it’s a celebration of a great year in country music and in our careers as artists. We’ll just see what happens, but definitely excited to be in that category.”

Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of CMA/ABC
Carrie Underwood; Photo Courtesy of CMA/ABC

Underwood Has Attended The CMA Awards Every Year Since 2005

The artist behind Denim & Rhinestones first attended the CMA Awards in 2005 following her American Idol win, going on to host the show for 11 years alongside Brad Paisley and one year alongside Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. Her reign as a co-host ended in 2020. Given Underwood’s commitment to the fan-favorite award show, viewers were shocked to see that she skipped the 57th Annual CMA Awards, marking the first time she has failed to make an appearance in 18 years.

Fans appeared to be outraged and shared their true thoughts via Twitter. “No Carrie Underwood the CMA is dead to me,” one X user wrote, while another shared, “just wow…….. don’t know what else to say besides disappointed. The #CMAAwards2023 are an absolute joke seriously. The CMA association has never deserved #CarrieUnderwood and never will.”

Underwood’s reason for not attending the award show is currently unknown. She is the only Entertainer of the Year nominee who did not attend and perform.

Who Performed At The CMA Awards?

Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards aired live on Wednesday, November 8 on ABC (8:00-11:00 PM/EST). The star-studded show featured performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Chris Stapleton, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, and more. 

Always known for epic collaborations, the 2023 CMA Awards also featured a Jimmy Buffett tribute from Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Mac McAnally, and Zac Brown Band, a not-to-be-missed performance of country classics from Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, and HARDY, a performance honoring The Judds from Jelly Roll and K. Michelle, plus special duets from Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion and Megan Moroney, and Little Big Town with Tanya Tucker.  

Peyton Manning, Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Peyton Manning, Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Paula Abdul, Bill Anderson, Nate Bargatze, Kevin Cahoon, Jordan Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Sara Evans, Brian Kelley, Lady A, Martina McBride, Parker McCollum, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Corey Seager, Gerry Turner, Keith Urban, Hailey Whitters and Chris Young appeared to present during “Country Music’s Biggest Night.” 

Those who are unable to watch the show in real-time can watch the CMA Awards the following day on Hulu. 

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Written by

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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