“In truth what I do during the show is change into a variety of fancy outfits and read a Teleprompter, so it’s not the hardest job in America,” she joked to reporters during a press conference in Nashville on Tuesday. “Honestly it doesn’t feel like work for me. It feels like a lot of fun. And I have a front-row seat to an amazing concert.”
The actress traced her love of country back to her first years in California, where she moved after growing up in Detroit. “The majority of my group of friends in my early 20s were from the South and so a lot of them were playing country artists and I fell in love,” she said. “I think it’s the most melodic of all the genres and they are easy songs to memorize ’cause they are telling a story, and as a storyteller I gravitate toward that.”
Bell, 33, who previously co-hosted the show with Toby Keith and Jason Aldean, said hosting solo will be made easier by the show’s lineup of live music, which includes 28 artists performing 24 songs live. “They took some of the pressure off me,” she joked.
And though the actress has earned raves for her own singing in Frozen (she voiced main character Anna), she said she has no plans to show off her pipes on Wednesday’s show, which airs on CMT at 8 p.m. ET.
“In an arena with the most talented people in the country on the music scene right now, I’m more than happy just talking into the mic,” she stressed.
Among those who will take the stage are Jason Derulo, who will open the show with Florida Georgia Line singing the R&B singer’s hit “Talk Dirty,” and John Legend, who will perform a version of his song “All of Me” with Jennifer Nettles and Hunter Hayes, who re-arranged the piano ballad for guitar. Kacey Musgraves and Lee Ann Womack will also perform a special tribute to Alan Jackson, who will receive an award (presented by Carrie Underwood) honoring him for 25 years of “the best videos ever made” according to the show’s executive producer John Hamlin, who added that it will be the first time CMT has presented such an honor to an artist.