Toby Keith and Kristen Bell are set to co-host tonight’s CMT Music Awards.
Though they only met Monday, they seemed to be having fun with each other at a press conference Tuesday to promote the show. When someone asked what Bell would be wearing on the show, she explained, “You get to sort of formulate an arc in your wardrobe, and it’s really silly and girly, but it’s a whole lot of fun.” That’s when Keith broke in, saying, “I have a nice skirt. A little knee-high job with some pumps.”
Though she’s never been to Nashville before this week, Bell is a big country music fan. The invitation to host was a bit random, and Bell says, “Honest to God, I don’t know how I got here. They just invited me, and I squealed.”
Keith is an old pro at the CMT Music Awards, and he’s taken home several of the show’s belt buckle awards in the past. Keith even hosted the show a few year ago with Pamela Anderson, and he likes the spontaneous feel of this awards show.
“To me, it’s not as sterile as the other awards shows,” Keith explains. “It’s more hang out, hang loose and the whole night’s funner. They’ve got a wonderful package together this year.”
That fun vibe is spilling over to the night’s performances too. Keith is teaming up with Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band, Jamey Johnson and Darius Rucker for a collaboration on Nelson’s song “Roll Me Up.” Of course, the song addresses Nelson’s well-documented love of marijuana.
Hank Williams, Jr. and Brad Paisley are also set to perform their collaboration “I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams” on the show’s outdoor stage. That duet will be included on Hank Jr.’s new album, Old School New Rules, coming out next month.
Lady Antebellum has something special up their sleeves for tonight’s show too. Band member Charles Kelley tells ABC News Radio, “We’re working on hopefully some fun performance stuff.”
According to a tweet from Nash Overstreet of the pop group Hot Chelle Rae, we’re guessing Lady A’s surprise may include some type of collaboration with Overstreet’s group.
As for their nominations for their “We Owned the Night” clip, Kelley says all the credit for that goes to his band mate Hillary Scott. “They’re her babies,” Charles says.
Since Scott just got married in January, Kelley realizes that any mention of Scott and the word “baby” in the same sentence could start a rumor about her starting a family. Scott isn’t pregnant, but she chimes in that she’s still a mother. “I have a baby, and he has four legs and his name is Hobbs,” Scott says, speaking of her beloved dog.
Eric Church is also set to perform on the outdoor stage at the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night. Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Pistol Annies, Carrie Underwood and The Band Perry also have performance slots.
Jason Aldean, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Jake Owen and Kellie Pickler will be on hand to give out trophies. Other presenters include actresses Hayden Panettiere, Denise Richards and Ashley Greene. Dax Shepard, Tom Arnold, Steve Austin, Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, Jordin Sparks and American Idol finalists Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine round out the presenters list.
The 2012 CMT Music Awards broadcast live on CMT and CMT.com tonight at 8 ET.