Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are buds, that much is certain. But how do they translate that camaraderie onto the stage when they host the CMA Awards? Underwood tells Southern Living a large part of it is Paisley’s willingness to take a hit for the sake of comedy.

"Brad is willing to make himself the butt of the joke, which you've got to respect,” she says, though she admits she doesn’t take herself too seriously either. "We're both willing to look stupid, but he assumes the role of annoying big brother. And I'm sure he would call me the annoying little sister."

Paisley is a bit more complimentary in his reasoning, noting that Underwood brings a sense of elegance to the proceedings that he just doesn’t have.

"There's a lot of trust between us,” he shares. "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."

Grace — and a certain grounded quality.

"I'll say crazy things, and she'll be the voice of reason,” he adds.

The two have been hosting the live show together for eight years now, going on their ninth. The 2016 awards are particularly special, as they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ceremony, so it was clear there were no two better people for the job. Paisley says he’ll keep it classy for that reason — no boxers in sight.

"It's a big deal, 50 years,” he commented. "This is the year to show some class. I will be wearing a tuxedo."

The CMA Awards air Nov. 2 on ABC.

Paisley recently released a new song called “Without a Fight” with pop star Demi Lovato, a collaboration fans have begun to see more of lately as they perform the tune together and Paisley accompanies Lovato on guitar on a few of her songs. He also announced his 2016 college tour taking place this fall.

Underwood is off the road for the time being, but she of course is a busy mom to 1-year-old Isaiah and has plenty of projects in the works, including the new NFL Sunday Night Football theme. She also recently released her fourth single from her Storyteller album, “Dirty Laundry."

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