The 45th Annual CMA Awards Air on ABC — Why You Should Watch

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return as hosts, Keith Urban and Sugarland perform and “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery makes his CMA debut

It's routinely deemed "country music's biggest night," so even the casual country music fan should find reason to tune in for the 45th annual Country Music Association Awards tonight.

Brad Paisley, last year's CMA Entertainer of the Year, returns to co-host with Carrie Underwood, and the line-up of nearly two dozen performers for the live Nashville show includes Keith Urban, Sugarland, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and the Zac Brown Band, as well as the hosts.

Read more: The 'American Idol' Blah Factor: Why Do Voters Keep Picking Boring Finalists?

Paisley, Swift, Aldean and Shelton lead all nominees with five each.

The CMAs will also feature the official CMA debut of Scotty McCreery, the reigning "American Idol" winner whose first album, "Clear As Day," debuted atop the Billboard album chart in October. McCreery will perform his new tune, "Walk in the Country."

As for the biggest award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, Paisley is once again nominated, along with previous winners Urban, Swift and first-time nominees Aldean and Shelton.

And with four-time winner Chesney MIA from the ballot, the Entertainer of the Year category is ripe for an upset.

The 45th Annual CMAs air tonight at 8/7c on ABC.