"This is my 16th time hosting the show!" McEntire explained to the packed, star-studded audience. "People always ask me, 'Do you ever get tired of doing it?' And I say, 'Tired? Of celebrating great artists and music? Tired of amazing live performances? Tired of being in charge of the biggest night in country?' Heck no! My name is Reba McEntire and I haven't been tired in 53 years!"
"I'm a woman in the music business and we don't have time for tired!" she added.
McEntire poked gentle fun at some of the biggest artists in the audience, mocking Maren Morris's upcoming birthday and Luke Bryan's minimal understanding of letters and numbers before pointing out some of the more exciting performances planned for the evening.
"We have some really unexpected matchups tonight. Kane Brown and Khalid, Dierks Bentley and Brandi Carlile, and me and Cardi B," McEntire joked. "I'm just kidding. But I do have a song we can do together: 'There's No U in Oklahoma and That's Okurrr With Me.'"
Reba's flawless monologue and stage presence continued with all the grace and poise of a woman who certainly knows how to work a crowd and command attention, and with the comedic timing you'd expect from a former sitcom star.
Reba also called out Blake Shelton, who was seated in he audience next to girlfriend Gwen Stefani before he stood up and pulled a microphone out of his jacket pocket.
"You used to need me to help you do this… I figured I'd just… I mean, you good?" Shelton asked. When McEntire said she had things under control, Shelton pulled out a yard-long glass of beer and took his seat muttering, "Fine. Forget you, Reba."