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Reba McEntire Won’t Return to Host ACM Awards in 2013

Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Reba McEntire has hosted the ACM Awards more than a dozen times since first emceeing the annual event in 1999, but the music legend admits she has no plans to return for the 2013 ceremony. Instead, the Oklahoma native has found a suitable replacement in a fellow Okie and country music superstar — her standing co-host Blake Shelton.

“No. [I’ve] passed the torch to Blake. I’m a huge Blake Shelton fan,” said the singer when asked if she would return to the 2013 ACM Awards ceremony, according to Country Weekly.

Shelton is no stranger to the telecast, first appearing alongside McEntire during the 2011 ceremony. The pair’s natural charisma and playful onstage banter led to the reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year’s second-consecutive appearance as McEntire’s partner in comedy crime in 2012, which received strong ratings and gave CBS a healthy lead in viewership during its time slot.

No word yet if Shelton plans to tackle hosting duties alone, or if the ‘Over’ singer is scoping out possible award show host proteges.

Fans distraught over McEntire’s ACM retirement can still catch the singer on the small screen on Friday evenings starting in November in ‘Malibu Country,’ the singer-turned-actress’ new ABC series. The new comedy, which co-stars veteran actress Lily Tomlin, is McEntire’s first regular television gig since ‘Reba’ was cancelled in 2007 after a successful six-year run.

The air date for the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards has not been announced, but it has been confirmed that the ceremony will return to Las Vegas for the next two years. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the 50th anniversary of the ACM Awards will be held in Dallas, Texas in 2015.

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