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When Carrie Underwood scored the enviable opportunity to host the CMA Awards with her “she-roes” Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, she loved almost “every second” of the experience.

The night aimed to honor women in country music, and the three represented that goal well. But Underwood joked that one part of sharing a stage with the living legends took more work than she’d expected.

Nevertheless, Underwood felt “blessed” in the end, noting Parton and McEntire are what she and her peers hope to be.

Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, and Dolly Parton at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, and Dolly Parton | Mickey Bernal/WireImage

Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba McEntire teamed up to co-host the 2019 CMA Awards

Underwood had been on a streak of hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley yearly, but Parton and McEntire joined her in 2019.

On Good Morning America, Underwood explained before the show that the year’s event centered around women in country music, and they packed the evening with ladies. She said the hope was it would be so exceedingly fantastic that people would wonder, “How can we get more women? How can we get more of that?”

Underwood added that hosting with her two “she-roes” was meaningful, too, but one part was unexpectedly more complex than she thought it would be.

Carrie Underwood ‘loved every second’ of working with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, except for sharing a dressing room

While teaming up with the legends for hosting duties, Underwood told the audience, “I have loved every second of working with them, except maybe the part about us all sharing a dressing room.”

“It’s a fog of hairspray and shoes and costume changes. There are racks of clothes and dresses everywhere, and for some reason, Dolly’s rack is so much bigger,” the “Hate My Heart” singer joked (CMA Country Music).

Laughing, Parton responded, “Well, Dolly’s rack is so much bigger.”

Carrie Underwood thinks Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire ‘do it how it’s supposed to be done’


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During a chat with GMA before the show, Underwood gushed about working with Parton and McEntire. “Both of you ladies, you do it how it’s supposed to be done,” she told McEntire. “We all have so much to learn from you guys. You’re what the rest of us are just trying to be. So, I feel blessed.”

McEntire was flattered, telling Underwood, “Well, listen at you. You’re sweet. Thanks for even including me in the same sentence as Dolly Parton.”

The iconic “Fancy” singer explained she’s “looked up to Dolly,” watching her and studying her over the years. “She’s a wonderful woman inside and out. I highly respect her,” she shared, noting she expected to have “a great time getting to cut up with her and be on stage with her.”

The love-fest wasn’t over there. Parton and McEntire also had some nice things to say about Underwood. After telling cameras that they’d been “at it a while,” Parton pointed to Underwood and clarified she hadn’t been at it as long, “But she’s good at it.”

“She’s a youngster,” McEntire agreed. “But [she’s] perfect at it.”