Brad Paisley is thrilled country music is showing signs of returning to its roots.
The genre was initially made famous by stars such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Hank Williams but has enjoyed a popularity resurgence thanks to more modern country singers like Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton. While the tone of the genre as a whole may have changed over the past few years, 43-year-old Brad believes it's now going back to its much beloved origins.
"If you turn on country music it's always 'Friday,' everybody has a beer, and pretty painted toes are tappin' on the dashboard. But I think we're coming back, as far as songwriting goes," Brad told Southern Living magazine.
Brad is no stranger to musical success, having sold more than 12 million albums as well as winning three Grammy Awards, 14 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards and becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry - the highest honour in country music.
He has also been hosting the CMAs with Carrie since 2008, with the pair having won over fans with their natural chemistry on stage.
This year (16) marks the 50th anniversary of the CMAs, and Brad is well aware of just how much the gongs mean to country artists.
"If you're an actor, you want to win an Oscar, and if you're a country music artist, you want to win a CMA Award," he said. "You can see the emotion in their acceptance speeches, and the audience recognises it too. This means something, and it has for 50 years.”
Brad appears alongside Carrie in the Southern Living photoshoot, with the pair opening up about why they work so well together hosting the annual ceremony.
"There's a lot of trust between us," Brad explained. "That’s key when you're standing out there on that tightrope. More than that, what makes a great balance is she has such grace, and I don't.”
Carrie added: "Brad's good at thinking on his feet, so it always works out.”
The 50th CMAs take place on 2 November (16).