ABC Wayne Brady
On Monday morning, the award show revealed that Brady will take on the role as host — and he opened up to PEOPLE about how he's preparing for the big night.
"I was ecstatic," Brady, 50, says of the moment he found out. "I actually lost my mind. That is one of the most amazing feelings. You feel like one of the cool kids in school."
He continued, "Besides being a host, and besides being a musician, I just love music. So to be a music lover in the middle of music, all these musicians that you look up to and these new musicians that are paving the way and bursting onto the scene, it's really a remarkable night to be a part of."
Leon Bennett/Getty Wayne Brady
The Whose Line Is It Anyway? star also said he's not afraid to show how hyped he is for the night.
"In this business and in life, people don't like it if you feel too happy or excited or too eager, it's cool to be disaffected. But in my mind, I'm too old to play that card," he says. "I'm a grown-ass man, and when I'm a fan of something or somebody, I yell it from the rooftops. So I'm giddy with excitement. I am just over the moon, and I don't care if it isn't cool, I'm going to live my life that night."
Hosting the award show is a full-circle moment for the star, considering he hosted the preshow nearly 20 years ago. "I've got all these years of experience to pull from now," he says.
"I approach it like I approach every hosting gig, my job as a host is to make the audience at home comfortable and to make the proceedings run smoothly," he says. "The night isn't about me. It's not the AWAYNEAs, it's the AMAs. I'm there to make this thing work."
He continues, "I'm there to be the best traffic cop in the world. I'm there to make the audience in studio laugh. I'm there to make the people at home feel good and laugh, and set you up for all of the performances. So I think I'm prepared that way. I've got to listen to a lot of the new music that I haven't heard, so I've got to prepare in that sense. And then the other way to prepare is to be ready for anything, because like James Brown said, 'If you stay ready, you ain't got to get ready."
As for how he plans to make it special? Wayne's got an idea or two.
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"I'm not going to say 100%, but odds are is we're doing an opening number. I mean, in the award shows that I've hosted in the past I'm kind of known for being able to pull those out," he says with excitement. "So we're going to do a really cool opening number. And then at some point, I would love to be able to freestyle or do an improvisational piece using people from the audience, because as a fan, and as a music lover, and as a musician, to be able to improvise musically on the AMAs would be the highlight of my life."
"And maybe there'll be an opportunity to show off a few of my Dancing with the Stars moves later in the show," says Brady, who is currently a contestant on the reality competition series.
Brady follows rapper Cardi B, who hosted last year's award show.
The year's show will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Fan voting for all awards is now open on VoteAMAs.com.