Reba McEntire first revealed her romance with actor Rex Linn on her Living & Learning podcast in October

By Karen Mizoguchi
November 11, 2020 07:55 PM
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Host Reba McEntire had a very special date at the CMA Awards!

On Wednesday, the singer was accompanied by her boyfriend Rex Linn before she kicked off her co-hosting duties with Darius Rucker at the Music City Center in Nashville.

"We're both excited that he's going to be there with me," McEntire, 65, told PEOPLE earlier this month.

Reba McEntire and Rex Linn
| Credit: ABC via Getty

Spotted arriving to the venue in a glittery dress, McEntire accessorized with a plastic face shield.

Linn, a 63-year-old actor who stars on CSI: Miami, was dressed in a blue tux jacket and sported his own mask and face shield.

Check out PEOPLE's full CMA Awards coverage to get the latest news on country music's biggest night.

Rex Linn and Reba McEntire
| Credit: John Shearer/Getty

Later in the show, McEntire will be performing with Rucker and she will be joining Thomas Rhett, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin for a special performance of "Be a Light," for which they are all nominated for the musical event of the year award.

McEntire, who has hosted four times prior, and Linn's date night at the awards show marks their red carpet debut as a couple since she revealed their romance on her Living & Learning podcast in October.

Rex Linn and Reba McEntire
| Credit: Rex Linn/Instagram

McEntire, who raved about her "very interesting, very funny, very smart" boyfriend, explained that the pair went on their first date in January and kept in touch virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's good to have a person to talk to, laugh with, get into subjects about what's going on," she said. "Discussions about our past, our family, funny stories, him being an actor, me being an actress. And he's very into my music. I'm very into his career."

Recently, McEntire and Linn, who affectionately call each other "Tater Tot" and "Sugar Tot," have shared photos of one another on social media.

McEntire was married twice before. She and Narvel Blackstock separated and divorced in 2015 after 26 years together. Before then, she was married to Charlie Battles from 1976 to 1987. She last dated Anthony "Skeeter" Lasuzzo in 2017, before the two split in 2019.

Meanwhile, Linn was previously engaged to Renee DeRese in 2010.

The 54th Annual CMA Awards are airing live from Nashville on Nov. 11 from 8 to 11 p.m. ET on ABC.