Big news for country music fans: During Carrie Underwood's sold-out show in Austin on November 2, CMT Music Awards co-host Kelsea Ballerini came on stage to announce that the CMT Music Awards will come to the city's new Moody Center next year. Airing Sunday, April 2, 2023, the fan-voted awards ceremony will be hosted in Texas for the first time ever.
Ballerini will return as the event's co-host for the third year in a row, which she also shared during Underwood's set. The Austin stop of Underwood's Denim and Rhinestones Tour was the perfect time to share the announcement, since Underwood currently holds the title as the winningest artist in CMT history. According to a release, she has garnered a total of 25 trophies, and she will be the first performer for the 2023 show.
“Both Austin and Nashville are two of the world’s greatest music cities and we couldn’t be more excited to announce the return of the CMT MUSIC AWARDS on CBS than with co-host Kelsea Ballerini surprising Carrie Underwood, our most awarded artist, in the middle of her incredible live performance at Moody Center – the exact venue where we’ll all be back exactly five months from today!” shared CMT Music Awards executive producers Margaret Comeaux, John Hamlin, Leslie Fram, and Jason Owen.
“Our fans are in for an unforgettable night of music with plenty of surprises, as the Live Music Capital meets Music City for the first time ever on a national stage in what will be a true country music extravaganza.”
The 2023 CMT Awards is the result of two years of planning between CMT, CBA, Paramount, and the Moody Center team. The show will make its global premiere exclusively on the CBS Television Network, available for both live streaming and on demand on Paramount+. For its inaugural year on CBS, the 2022 CMT Music Awards delivered 5.89 million viewers, a 529 percent increase from June 2021.
“The programming team at Oak View Group and Moody Center have spent the past two years cultivating this relationship and working to endear CMT, CBS and Paramount to Austin and our new, world-class arena," says Michael Owens, vice president of programming at the Moody Center, in the release. "CMT’s commitment to Austin reflects those efforts and we couldn’t be more grateful and excited to host them next year."