Luke Bryan Will Co-Host the 56th CMA Awards with Peyton Manning: 'It's Going to Be Great'

"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," said Manning in a press release

peyton manning, luke bryan
Photo: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU; Eric Ryan Anderson

Luke Bryan and NFL superstar Peyton Manning will co-host the 56th annual CMA Awards!

The country superstar, who hosted the award show solo last year, announced his return to the CMA Awards stage while filling in for Kelly Ripa as guest co-host on Monday's episode of Live! With Kelly and Ryan, explaining to host Ryan Seacrest that the offer was impossible to decline.

"To grow up a kid who really dreamed of being in country music, I sat at home, I watched the CMAs [and] I dreamed of being on that stage," the 46-year-old singer told Seacrest, 47. "I've done a lot of amazing things, but when you get the call to host, how do you say no?"

Manning, 46, who's appeared as a host on multiple ESPN programs, is just as excited as Bryan. "I cannot wait to head to Nashville and take the CMA Awards stage alongside my friend Luke Bryan," the two-time Super Bowl champion said of his first time hosting the award show in a press release.

He added, "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."

The "One Margarita" musician detailed that Manning's addition will make both the show and the co-hosting job "even more of a blast."

"When I was asked if Peyton Manning was someone I would consider co-hosting with, I didn't hesitate," read Bryan's press statement. "We have become great friends through the years and what he brings to the table is gonna make it even more of a blast."

Personally calling the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback out, his statement continued, "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!"

While guest co-hosting on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Bryan dished on Manning's hidden talent and untold love of country music — specifically Kenny Chesney.

"People may not know this, but he's a big champion for country music," the American Idol judge told Seacrest, referring to Manning. "Early on, he was always really supportive of Kenny Chesney when Kenny was skyrocketing to success."

He added that as the country-loving duo grew close, Manning often surprised Bryan with a guitar when they traveled together. "So what you learn about Peyton is he invites you to come on these really neat trips — like a golf outing somewhere or some fishing trips — and he always mysteriously packs a guitar"

Although Manning may not be a skilled guitarist, Bryan revealed the ESPN analyst does tend to sing along.

"He always is like, 'Here,'" Bryan said as he motioned being handed the instrument. "And then at some point in the night he's singing along a little bit. He's kind of a closet karaoke singer."

"It's going to be great — and Peyton, I think it's about, how much can you make fun of each other?" asked the former Academy of Country Music Awards host.

American Idol - LUKE BRYAN
Luke Bryan. Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Seacrest replied, "That's what people will be tuning in to see."

"That's right. The roasting," quipped Bryan.

Elsewhere in the press release, CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern said, "During an evening when we celebrate the best of the best in Country Music, we are thrilled to have two award-winning hosts at the helm!"

She continued, "I cannot wait to see what Luke and Peyton have up their sleeves, which I'm sure will be hilariously unpredictable and playfully energetic, just like the two of them."

The 2022 CMA Awards will air Nov. 9 from 8-11 p.m. EST on ABC.

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