The 2019 CMA Awards began with a joke-filled opening monologue from co-hosts Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire. After an opening performance featuring a medley of songs by women throughout country music's history, performed by a large group of artists including the Highwomen, Martina McBride, Tanya Tucker and others, the three co-hosts took the stage.

"What do you call three women hosting the CMAs? Your lucky night!" Parton joked, kicking off the night.

The hosts took a focus on this year's theme right off the bat, which is focused on celebrating the women of country music. It's a hard swing of the pendulum in the other direction compared to recent years of the show, which has come under fire for its lack of women nominees and winners along with the continuing conversation about lack of radio play and opportunities for women in the genre.

"We're doing it for all the little girls watching tonight, dreaming of ruling the world of country music," McEntire said.

McEntire noted Brad Paisley's absence, who has co-hosted the awards with Underwood for the past 11 years, saying "It takes two of us to fill Brad's shoes."

They moved forward, exchanging praises of one another and some other legacy acts in country like Loretta Lynn.

"Miss Dolly was the first ever female host of the CMA awards way back in --" Underwood began to say.
"None of your business," Parton quipped back. (The year was 1988, for the record).
Speaking of Parton and McEntire's Entertainer of the Year credentials, Underwood said "Reba won that same award back in --"
"Moving right along!" McEntire responded.
Following with the awards' typical format, the monologue solicited a lot of laughs while introducing many of the performers and nominees of the night. The collaborations, which include Lady Antebellum and Halsey among others, took a spotlight moment. Particularly, that of Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves, who will perform "Rainbow Connection," originally performed by Kermit the Frog of The Muppets.

Parton joked about what the two singers have in common, including an affinity for Nelson's marijuana brand Willie's Reserve, saying, "Whatever he has on reserve, we know it's gonna be a night of high times and misdemeanors."

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