"I've always been one to trust my gut, and my gut tells me it is time for a change for everyone," Gill said in a statement. "In the future, I will be more than willing to accept that role again, but right now it feels like I need a little break."
Gill, one of country music's top hit makers, brought his characteristic humor and easy-going style to CBS' live telecast of the CMA Awards.
Even as he announced his retirement from hosting duties, Gill left room for a return.
"In the words of the new California governor," Gill said, "I'll be back."