CMA Awards: Charles Kelley Replacing Lee Brice Following COVID-19 News

Lady A’s Charles Kelley will step in for Lee Brice and perform at the 2020 CMA Awards, following news that Brice has tested positive for COVID-19. Brice was set to join Carly Pearce on stage during a performance of her song, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” but Kelley will now join Pearce instead.

In a statement released to ET, the Country Music Association confirmed that Brice, 41, will no longer attend the Nov. 11 awards ceremony. They also confirmed that Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard will also be absent due to testing positive for the coronavirus.

“Although this is incredibly disappointing, not only for the show but also for CMA personally as we care deeply for these artists and only want the best for them and their families, it does reassure us that our protocols are working,” the statement read. 

The association also provided assurance that neither performer had been on the set of the awards ceremony or put anyone else involved at risk.

“Our process enabled us to manage each situation immediately and before either artist ever entered our set,” the statement noted. “Most importantly, it prevented anyone else from being exposed. We have been extremely diligent with our testing process in advance of anyone entering our footprint.  Every single person has been tested, and many will be tested repeatedly throughout the week. This is in addition to wearing PPE and of course practicing social and physical distancing.”

The statement concluded by assuring fans that there was still “an incredible” show planned. It will be hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker and a newly announced performance will see Chris Stapleton singing his new track, “Starting Over.”

Presenters include Patrick Schwarzenegger, Charles Esten, Bobby Bones and Lauren Alaina.

See more on the CMAs below.

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