Didn’t see this coming.  CARRIE UNDERWOOD will be hosting this year’s CMAs with REBA MCENTIRE and DOLLY PARTON.  That means BRAD PAISLEY is OUT after co-hosting with Carrie for 11 straight years.

Here’s the official word:  “The ’53rd Annual CMA Awards’ will celebrate the legacy of women within country music, and we couldn’t think of a more dynamic group of women to host the show.”

Sounds like they’re setting the table for more female nominees . . . as well as a female Entertainer of the Year.  That part’s very good.  But let’s be honest, honoring females is the perfect way to make it look like they’re NOT kicking Brad to the curb.

It’s also a brilliant move to bring in two artists who are legends, and they’ve even hosted the show before.  Dolly did in 1988, and Reba did it from 1990 to 1992.

This can’t be great news for Brad.  Hosting a high-profile show like that leads to more fans, which means more record sales and more people buying concert tickets.

Still, he took the high road.  He hit up Twitter yesterday and wrote, “As a fan of all three of these amazing women, I can’t wait to watch.”  It’s way too early to know if Brad will be coming back in 2020.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Anyway, the final CMA nominees will be announced a week from tomorrow . . . August 28th, on “Good Morning America”.  The show airs November 13th on ABC.

One last note:  This also brings up the question of Reba returning next spring to host the ACMs, which she’s done four billion times.  A source told Billboard that “no deal is in place for her to come back” . . . while adding that they haven’t confirmed their host yet for 2020.  I guess they could also go without a host, because that’s a thing these days.