Maren Morris Wonders If Charley Pride's COVID-19 Death Linked to CMAs

Deaton informed Variety, “We knew we could not do a Zoom show; we could not do a living room show. We could not do that and have it represent the CMAs, which is ‘country music’s biggest night.’ It had to be representative of the brand. The other thing, the idea had to be adaptable.”

“All along we knew we were going to try looking at having a small audience,” he stated. “But we didn’t know: Do we put super fans in there. Do we test our board and put them in there? I called Sarah one day and said, ‘If we look at our main categories, it’s about 50 nominees or so. We could do our nominees, plus one. So that became the plan.'”

Deaton stressed that “there were no stones unturned” in exactly how they applied their security procedures. He stated that to him, “It’s kind of like the bubble for the NBA, or how the NFL is going out and playing football every week; they’re not just going out on the field with no rules and regulations.”

“Because I was in Zone A and talking directly to the talent, even though I was being tested every other day, I had a mask on and a face shield at all times,” he stated. “There was a lot of protocol in place. It cost a lot of money to do that, as well, to make sure that that is done right… probably one of the safest places in the world to be was at our show.”