Syndicated radio host Bob Kingsley says he has bladder cancer and will be stepping away from his country music countdown show, Bob Kinglsey's Country Top 40.

The 80-year-old National Radio Hall of Famer is a legend in country music, having hosted a weekly countdown show since 1974. In a moving letter on the Country Top 40 website, Kingsley says that he expects to be back behind the microphone, but his immediate focus is on his health and family.

While there is no doubt that the immediate road ahead will push me and challenge my resolve, I want you to know I am blessed to be working with the very best in the medical profession, and they have a plan to deal with this awful disease. The faith you have placed in me is something I treasure, and that support has allowed me to do what I love in this wonderful industry for 60 years. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but for a moment, I need to ask for your patience as I step away from the mic and focus on my treatment.

Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 is heard on 320 stations worldwide. He was the original producer of American Country Countdown, which he hosted for more than 30 years.

The multi-time CMA and ACM Award winner shares that he was excited to be part of a spotlight on the women of country music in the weeks leading up to the CMA Awards, but his co-hosts will have to handle the countdown without him. Just beneath his announcement of a cancer diagnosis is the reveal of how the program will be handled over these next few weeks leading up to the Nov. 13 show on ABC.

Starting this weekend (Oct. 12-13), country music's most impactful women will host Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40. Trisha Yearwood, the women of Little Big Town and Martina McBride are three guest hosts announced, but the focus on women will continue through the end of 2019, with each guest host playing some of her hits along with the Top 40 songs. Favorite songs written or recorded by women in country music will also be sprinkled between.

The move is a partnership with the Country Music Association, as the 2019 CMA Awards will also spotlight women in country music. Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire will host the 2019 CMA Awards in Nashville on ABC.

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