(Tune in Sunday night for Saving Country Music’s LIVE Blog of the ACM Awards)
THE 52nd ANNUAL ACM AWARDS
• When: 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 on CBS.
• Where: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
• Hosts: Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Chris Stapleton will debut a new single off of his still unnamed sophomore album due out on May 5th, and this will likely be proceeded with the release of the song, and more album information. Word is Stapleton has been performing as many as five new songs on his current tour. Which one of the new songs will be the new single, we’ll just have to see, and how it is received will have a lot to do if radio will be receptive to it. Chris Stapleton is also up for Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year for “Tennessee Whiskey,” and Video of the Year for “Fire Away.”
Lori McKenna has already made history, becoming the first female ever to walk away with the ACM’s Songwriter of the Year award since they started giving it out in 1966. If “Humble and Kind” wins the ACM for Song of the Year, it will be the first song to sweep the Song of the Year honors at the CMA’s, Grammy Awards, and ACM’s since Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” did it in 2002-2003.
Bad Music will be the order of the evening. For the last few years, traditional country fans have had pre-announced tributes and appearances by older artists to look forward to. This year there is no such thing in the works unless it is a surprise. Right now the big rumored surprise (meaning, you should expect it to happen), is a public sighting of Shania Twain.
Florida Georgia Line got inexplicably snubbed for Vocal Duo of the Year at the CMA’s. If they get the razz again at the ACM’s, this could really fortell a precipitous drop off from the franchise due to peer displeasure. The industry is trying to move on from Bro-Country (though some recent singles seem to tell a different story), and it feels like Florida Georgia Line has a target on their back, and could become the fall guy.
Since the ACM rehersals happened on April Fools Day, it’s hard to know what intelligence coming from the rehearsals is true, and what is meant as satire. Justin Bieber performing appears to NOT be true (though you could never put it past the ACM’s). Chris Stapleton also put out a picture of him with Boyz II Men, saying he was the newest member. That’s not likely, but it may not be out of the realm of possibility that the trio shows up on stage with Stapleton on Sunday.
Artist presenters (meaning artists still considered mainstream, but not important enough in the ACM’s estimation to perform) include: Lauren Alaina, Kane Brown, Kacey Musgraves, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, and Darius Rucker.
Non-artist presenters include: Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell, Reality TV stars Todd and Savannah Chrisley, NASCAR Drivers Elliot Sadler and Bubba Wallace, and Miss America Savvy Shields.
• Tim McGraw and Faith Hill will perform their new duet “Speak To A Girl.”
• Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood will perform their duet “The Fighter.”
• Florida Georgia Line with the Backstreet Boys will perform “God, Your Mama, and Me.”
• Cole Swindell will perform “Flatliner” with Dierks Bentley.
• Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris perform “Craving You.”
• Reba McEntire will collaborate with contemporary Christian star Lauren Daigle.
• Sam Hunt will perform “Body Like A Backroad.”
• Lady Antebellum performs new single “You Look Good.”
• Chris Stapleton will premier a new single.
• Maren Morris sings her latest single “I Could Use a Love Song.”
• Rascal Flatts performs their latest single “Yours If You Want It.”
• Miranda Lambert is performing the non single “Tin Man.”
• Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Jon Pardi, and Dierks Bentley and Maren Morris will also perform solo.
• And Shania Twain is rumored to perform.
Many Awards Have Already Been Handed Out:
- New Male Vocalist of the Year – Jon Pardi
- New Female Vocalist of the Year – Maren Morris
- New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year – Brothers Osborne
- Vocal Event of the Year – “May We All” – Florida Georgia Line
- Single of the Year – “H.O.L.Y” – Florida Georgia Line
- Songwriter of the Year – Lori McKenna
Entertainer of the Year
Florida Georgia Line
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
Album of the Year
Black, Dierks Bentley
Dig Your Roots, Florida Georgia Line
Hero, Maren Morris
Ripcord, Keith Urban
The Weight of These Wings, Miranda Lambert
Video of the Year
“Fire Away,” Chris Stapleton
“Forever Country,” Artists of Then, Now and Forever
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw
“Peter Pan,” Kelsea Ballerini
“Vice,” Miranda Lambert
Song of the Year – Awarded to Songwriter(s)
“Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Keith Urban (Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen)
“Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett (Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur)
“Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw (Lori McKenna)
“Kill a Word,” Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens (Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde)
“Tennessee Whiskey,” Chris Stapleton (Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove)
“Vice,” Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)