Reba gets some backup from Blake Shelton at ACM Awards

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 11:10 AM, CST | Brian Mansfield, USA Today

Reba McEntire will get some hosting help onstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April.

Fellow Oklahoma native Blake Shelton will share the duties with McEntire, who has hosted the ceremony for 12 years.

The two singers are managed by McEntire’s husband, Narvel Blackstock, and announced last year’s nominations together.

“When they did that, you saw a chemistry,” says ACM executive director Bob Romeo. “They played off each other naturally. They seemed warm and spontaneously funny.”

Reba and Blake Shelton

Shelton, who is engaged to singer Miranda Lambert, wasn’t completely surprised by the invitation to co-host. He says the producers had been gauging his interest for a while.

“I thought, ‘If things keep going good for me, this is probably something I should look forward to,’ ” he says.

After launching his recording career a decade ago, Shelton has seen his stock rise sharply in the past year.

He won his first ACM Award in 2010, a vocal-event trophy for his Hillbilly Bone duet with Trace Adkins. That set off a string of accolades, including another No. 1 hit with All About Tonight and Grand Ole Opry membership.

He’ll launch his first major headlining tour Jan. 28 in La Crosse, Wis.

The ACMs are the year’s first show in an increasingly crowded country-music awards field. The CMT Music Awards take place in June, followed by the CMA Awards, which air on ABC in November. Last December, Fox premiered its own show, the American Country Awards. Last year, Shelton took home trophies from all four. He also picked up his first Grammy nomination last month.

Shelton may have to tone down his act for network television. His Twitter feed, which has more than 150,000 followers, is known for its contentiousness, and Shelton says Romeo and the show’s executive producer sometimes express concerns about his raunchier humor.

“I cut them right off and tell them, ‘Guys, don’t worry about it,’ ” Shelton says. “They’re a little worried, but I think that makes them excited at the same time.”

Romeo seems to have overcome any anxiety. “Reba can keep him on a leash,” he says. “Both Reba and Blake are funny, and they can get out there on you.”

Nominations for the 46th Academy of Country Music Awards will be announced next month. The awards show will air live from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3 (CBS, 8 p.m. ET/PT).

(Photo by Brooke Kelly/The Tennessean)

Posted by Dustin on 01/12/2011 at 11:10 AM


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