FILE - Dan Smyers, left, and Shay Mooney from the band Dan + Shay perform on NBC's Today show in New York on June 28, 2019. The duo will perform at Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

ACM Awards to feature (most of) country music’s top stars

NEW YORK — Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards will feature some of the genre’s biggest stars, though chart-toppers like Morgan Wallen and Luke Bryan won’t be in the building.

Wallen, whose latest album and singles have found major success on both the country and pop charts, was declared ineligible by the ACMs after he was caught on camera using a racial slur earlier this year. Bryan backed out of the event, airing on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern, because he recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

Bryan is nominated for the top prize — entertainer of the year — where his competition includes Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church and Thomas Rhett, who won the honour last year in a tie with Carrie Underwood.

All of the entertainer of the year nominees but Bryan will perform — most of them pre-taped at various venues in Nashville, Tennessee, including the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. The audience will be small and made up of medical and healthcare workers.

“Coming in and finding out that you winning entertainer of the year along with Carrie Underwood, that’s just — that’s just adrenaline to last you the whole year pretty much,” Rhett said in an interview Saturday. “So it’s an honour to be back at the ACMs, nominated in that same category is just super special. And something that I will never in a million years take for granted and just feel super honoured to be here.”

Some performers will join forces onstage: Underwood will sing with gospel legend CeCe Winans; Maren Morris will perform with her hubby Ryan Hurd; Dierks Bentley will sing U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” with husband and wife duo The War and Treaty; and Miranda Lambert and pop-rock singer Elle King are set to kick off the show with their new duet “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”

Other performers include Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson, Dan + Shay, Lady A, Brothers Osborne and Ashley McBryde. The foursome Little Big Town will also perform though band member Phillip Sweet won’t participate since he recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton are hosting for the first time, and they will also sing onstage.

Stapleton and Morris are the top nominees with six each. Stapleton’s nominations include album, song and male artist of the year. Morris’ nominations include single and female artist of the year. She also landed a group of the year nod as a member of the Highwomen, the supergroup also featuring Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby.

Some of the ACM winners were pre-announced, including Gabby Barrett (new female artist), Jimmie Allen (new male artist) and Kane Brown (video of the year). Carly Pearce and Lee Brice’s platinum hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” co-written by Combs, won music event of the year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham has ambitious plans for the airport. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer Regional Airport revenues climb in 2020

Bringing in more business is the 2021 goal, says director

City council will have to wait longer to hear back from administration on possible alternative sites — if the homeless shelter is moved from Red Deer downtown. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alternative sites for homeless shelter will be explored by the City of Red Deer

Council gave administration more time to return with a report

Quentin Lee Strawberry was found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with stabbing death of Joseph Gallant in March 2019. (Photo from RCMP)
Updated: O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

(Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer property tax bills are in the mail

Red Deer 2021 tax notices are on their way. Red Deer property… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (36) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during first-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) celebrates with teammate Connor McDavid (97) after scoring the third goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

Canada , left to right, lead Briane Meilleur, third Val Sweeting, skip Kerri Einarson, and second Shannon Birchard discuss strategy against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. Both of Canada's teams were shut out of the medals, marking the first time ever that Canada did not reach the podium at either the men's or women's worlds in the same season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Canada's Tyler Ardron, right, tries to block the kick by Italy's Callum Braley during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Fukuoka, western Japan, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kyodo News via AP
Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

John Velazquez, right, rides Medina Spirit ahead of Florent Geroux aboard Mandaloun to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Canada forward Liam Millar (23) moves the ball past Bermuda defender Eusebio Blankendal (2) during the second half of a World Cup 2022 Group B qualifying soccer match Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Raoux
Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Most Read