Tonight’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards will be co-hosted by a celebrity drag performer
The country music establishment has come a long way since the days when country radio stations removed k.d. lang from their playlists after she came out as queer.
Tonight, the Canadian Country Music Association will hand out its annual awards in London at a ceremony co-hosted by Priyanka.
Yes, you heard that right: Priyanka, the winner of Canada’s Drag Race season one.
The move clearly caught even Priyanka herself off guard, as she told several media outlets that she thought she was being pranked when she got the call asking her to preside over the ceremony – alongside current Canadian country sensation Lindsay Ell.
“We are making history this year at the CCMA Awards,” Priyanka said in a news release announcing her role. “Music has such a special place in my heart and so does hosting TV! Being able to put the two together is making my heart explode. Country music is so beautiful and I’m such a big fan. I can’t wait for Canada to see that I’m your country queen!”
The ceremony takes place tonight (Monday night) at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and will live stream exclusively on the Global TV app and Prime Video. People in London, Calgary and Edmonton can also listen to the event on the radio on Country 104 (London), Country 105 (Calgary) and CISN (Edmonton).
Meanwhile, like most awards shows do, the CCMAs gave away a number of awards at a special gala prior to “the main event.”
That ceremony took place last night. It included both artistic and industry awards.
Here are the winners in the artistic categories.
Drummer of the Year *tie
Fiddle Player of the Year
Specialty Instrument Player of the Year
Country Music Program or Special of the Year
Brett Kissel: Live at the Drive-In
(BAK 2 BAK Entertainment Inc., Back Road Productions)
Top Selling Canadian Album of the Year presented by Music Canada
Timeless — Dallas Smith
Top Selling Canadian Single of the Year
“Can’t Help Myself” — Dean Brody and The Reklaws
Interactive Artist or Group of the Year
Alternative Country Album of the Year
Agricultural Tragic — Corb Lund
Songwriter(s) of the Year presented by SOCAN
Patricia Conroy, Ester Dean, Andrew DeRoberts, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Shane McAnally, Madeline Merlo, Tina Parol, Hillary Scott, Ryan Tedder, Dave Thomson — “Champagne Night”
Record Producer(s) of the Year
(“Sometimes I Don’t, But Sometimes I Do,” Tyler Joe Miller)
Video Director of the Year
PRS Guitars Video of the Year
“Make A Life, Not A Living” — Brett Kissel
Live Innovation Award
Brett Kissel: Live At The Drive-In
CCMA Hall of Fame Inductions
Patricia Conroy (Artist Inductee)
Randy Stark (Stan Klees Builder)