Runaway June is "Head Over Heels" about new bandmate Natalie Stovall.
On the "very quiet" 2020 ACM Awards red carpet, the award-presenting trio — comprising Stovall, Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne — chat with PeopleTV's Jeremy Parsons about their new life after Hannah Mulholland's exit earlier this year.
"It's so good to be here," says Stovall, 38. "And it was a little crazy you know the beginning of the shutdown and pandemic — it's been tough for everyone. Fortunately for us, we've managed to have a lot of new energy."
"I am starting a whole new chapter of my life with Runaway June, one of my favorite bands in the world," she adds. "I'm now part of it. It's crazy."
Cooke, 30, then explains that the trio have spent a lot of time on phone calls and meeting up for "wine hangs" over Zoom calls.
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“But actually time flew by really fast," she says. "By the time Natalie joined, we had just a few weeks when we were able to get back in the studio. We started recording our Christmas EP, kind of right off the bat. And so we've been busy with that and recording album number two. We shot a music video. We've been going."
The group also talks about hitting the road with entertainer of the year nominee Luke Bryan in 2021 after having opened for Carrie Underwood last year.
"We're preparing our livers a year ahead," jokes Wayne, 38. "I'm working on my golf game."
"Luke is renowned for just having the funnest shows," adds Cookie. "And we're just so excited to be a part of that. He's one of the best entertainers that there is, and just one of the best people that there is. And everyone in our genre looks up to him. And God, I can't wait to play shows, but to be opening for Luke Bryan and to play for his fans. There's a deep bag of things we're excited about."
Wayne adds that she's excited to learn from the "superstar."
"It's crazy. Last year, we were on the road with Carrie Underwood. How do we beat that?" she says. "And then Luke Bryan's like, 'Oh!' We're like, Okay, en par!"
After Mulholland's exit, Cooke and Wayne had to choose between going on as a duo or welcoming someone new — "Natalie was the only person." In July, the trio spoke to PEOPLE about their "new marriage" with Stovall.
"It just felt right," Stovall told PEOPLE then. "My gut said, 'This is the next thing. This is what you need to do.'"
"There are a number of beautiful, talented, hungry, hard-working young women in town," Cooked added. "But finding someone who knows what it's like to be on the road, who knows the difficulty of life on the road, who knows what it's like to work with a crew of guys … Natalie knows. She's just such a good vibe."
The two original bandmates also said then that they supported Mulholland in her decision. "We still love her," Cooke said. "There was no drama."
The 2020 ACM Awards are airing live from Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
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