Why Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley's CMA Hosting Gig Works: 'He's Willing to Make Himself the Butt of the Joke'

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley discuss their brother-sister bond in the September issue of Southern Living

Photo: David McClister/Southern Living

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley don’t need anyone to remind them why they’re friends.

The duo – who will host the 50th Annual CMA Awards for the ninth year in a row – are on the cover of Southern Living‘s September cover to discuss their undeniable chemistry and what they have in store for this year’s show.

“There’s a lot of trust between us,” says Paisley of the importance of hosting a live show with someone you feel comfortable with. “That’s key when you’re standing out there on that tightrope. More than that, what makes a great balance is she has such grace, and I don’t.”

Grace or no grace, Paisley doesn’t let being the bulls-eye of every laugh knock him down – and that is why “it always works out.”

“Brad is willing to make himself the butt of the joke, which you’ve got to respect,” says Underwood, 33. “We’re both willing to look stupid, but he assumes the role of annoying big brother. And I’m sure he would call me the annoying little sister.”

Paisley, 43, adds, “I’ll say crazy things, and she’ll be the voice of reason.”

Last year, one joke went a little like this: Paisley stripped down into his Green Bay Packers boxers. But this year, he promises to keep classy and carry on.

“It’s a big deal, 50 years,” says Paisley of planning his outfit accordingly. “This is the year to show some class. I will be wearing a tuxedo.”

The 50th Annual CMA Awards will air Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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