Nominations were announced in September, one month after it was revealed that Luke Bryan was returning to host the awards show for the second year in a row. While the Georgia native is no stranger to the CMAs stage, his cohost is known for his work in a totally different arena.
“Being a part of such a historical night that honors my peers and Country Music is such a privilege,” the “One Margarita” crooner said in an August statement. “When I was asked if Peyton Manning was someone I would consider cohosting with I didn’t hesitate. We have become great friends through the years and what he brings to the table is gonna make it even more of a blast. I know he’s been to the CMA Awards before, but he’s never been with me. Hey Peyton, I hope you’re ready for the night of your life!”
The retired quarterback praised his pal in a statement of his own at the time, adding, “I am such a huge fan of country music, so to have the chance to stand among so many incredibly talented artists is an absolute honor.”
When nominees were named the following month, the list included a variety of longtime country favorites and up-and-coming artists. Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are facing off against Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton and Morgan Wallen for Entertainer of the Year, and the competition is even more fierce in the Album of the Year category, which features Maren Morris, Old Dominion and more.
Despite earning a nod for her record Humble Quest, the Texas native hinted that she may not grace the CMAs red carpet this year. After clashing with Brittany Aldean in a lengthy back and forth on social media after the YouTuber made transphobic comments in August, Morris told the Los Angeles Times that she’s considering skipping the ceremony.
“I’m very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now,” the “My Church” singer said in a September interview. “So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go. As of right now, though, I don’t feel comfortable going.”
Morris continued: “Some nights are fun. Others I’m just crawling out of my skin. I’m not good at those events because I’m awkward. But this time I kind of feel peaceful at the notion of not going.”
Scroll down for everything to know about the 2022 CMA Awards: