Kenny Chesney will not be attending the awards show due to a death in the family, ET can confirm. The CMA Awards first made the sad announcement on Twitter.
The tragic news arrives soon after the 50-year-old singer, Thomas Rhett and David Lee Murphy were announced as early winners. Chesney and Murphy won for Musical Event of the Year for “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” and Rhett nabbed Music Video of the Year for “Marry Me” alongside director TK McKamy.
CMA Musical Event of the Year winner & Entertainer of the Year nominee @KennyChesney will be unable to appear on tonight's telecast due to a death in the family.
Nevertheless, fans who tune in are in for an exciting night of music and revelry from some of country's other biggest stars, including Keith Urban, who teased to ET that his performance of his track, “Never Comin’ Down,” is going to be something special.
"It's a blast playing it. We've been opening the tour with this song every night and I'm so thrilled we get to do it here at CMAs, particularly with this production," Urban said recently. “The rehearsal is so fun but to have an audience in front of us [is the] missing piece."
The night of music, hosted for the 11th straight year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will feature performances by Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, Luke Bryan, Lauren Alaina, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, and Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert.