Reba McEntire has announced that she will step aside and no longer host the annual Academy of Country Music Awards show.

Reba recently told Country Weekly that she has “passed the torch to Blake,” adding, “I’m a huge Blake Shelton fan.”

Reba co-hosted the past two years with Blake Shelton. Before that, she hosted the show solo beginning in 1999.

Reba and Blake had great chemistry on stage and not only moved the show along but provided great comic relief. Their final time hosting the ACM Awards together was this past April 1 in Las Vegas.

Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire
Hosts Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards on April 1, 2012 (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, today issued a statement about Reba’s decision.

“Reba has hosted the ACM Awards a record 14 times since 1986, and we fully understand and support her decision to focus her energies on her new television project. We’ve known about this for a while and have something very special planned with Blake returning—he’s got something big up his sleeve!—that we’ll be announcing soon. Stay tuned!”

No word yet from Blake on what, in fact, is “up his sleeve.” Any ideas?

– Steven Koscik, US99.5/Chicago and Kurt Wolff, CBS Local

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