The 2018 ACM Awards Complete Preview

(Tune in Sunday night for Saving Country Music’s LIVE Blog of the ACM Awards)

THE 53rd ANNUAL ACM AWARDS

• When: 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern Sunday, April 15th, 2018 on CBS.

• Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

• Host: Reba McEntire.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Since the ACM Awards are held in Las Vegas, and it was the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Vegas that was the site of the worst massacre in modern United States history, you can be assured this will be a recurring theme throughout the night. The show is rumored to open with a tribute, while many survivors and first responders will be in attendance. Expect the tone to be sad to start, but then switch to one of strength and perseverance. And don’t expect it to get too political. Host Reba McEntire has already said she will be avoiding politics.

• Chris Stapleton is up for a whopping eight awards in five separate categories, setting him up for yet another major awards show night, including being up for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year. Expect him to be a front runner in all of these categories except the final one.

• There are a ton of performances scheduled, including a tribute to 1993, and of course the Harvest Festival tribute(s), so expect a lot of 30-second hooks from smaller stars as the presentation cuts to commercial break, and very few complete songs as they try to cram all the performers in. See full list of performances below.

• Don’t be surprised if the Wal-Mart Yodeling Boy stops by. He showed up to nearby Coachella, has played the Opry, and would be a fun, last-minute edition if the powers that be can pull it off.

THE PRESENTERS

Non-musician presenters include actors David Boreanaz, AJ Buckley, Max Thieriot, Sam Elliott, and Ashton Kutcher, quarterback Drew Brees, rapper and actress Eve, TV host Nancy O’Dell, actress Rebecca Romijn, and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.

Musician presenters include Cam, Dustin Lynch, and Sugarland.

THE PERFORMERS

• A Tribute to 1993 Will Include:

  • Alan Jackson performing “Chattahoochee” with Jon Pardi
  • Toby Keith performing “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” with Blake Shelton
  • Reba McEntire performing “Does He Love You” with Kelly Clarkson

• Blake Shelton will also perform “I Lived It” solo.

• Carrie Underwood will perform her new single “Cry Pretty”

• Kenny Chesney will perform his new single “Get Along”

• Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina will perform together on “What Ifs”

• Lauren Aliana will also perform “Doin’ Fine” solo

• Keith Urban with sing with pop star Julia Michaels on the duet “Coming Home”

• Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha will perform their their now historic #1 “Meant To Be”

• Dan + Shay will play their new song “Tequila”

• Jason Aldean performs new single “You Make It Easy”

• Dierks Bentley performs “Woman, Amen”

• Lady Antebellum will perform “Heart Break”

• Chris Young performs “Losing Sleep”

• Miranda Lambert will perform her current single “Keeper of the Flame.”

• Little Big Town performs Elton John’s “Rocket Man”

• Brett Young performs “In Case You Didn’t Know”

• Maren Morris will perform her current single “Rich.”

• Kelsea Ballerini will perform “I Hate Love Songs”

• Darius Rucker will perform “For The First Time”

• Luke Bryan will perform “Most People Are Good,” and it could include a Route 91 Harvest Fest tie-in.

• Thomas Rhett will perform “Marry Me”

• Midland will also perform

• Chris Janson will have the final performance with “Redneck Life”

 

 AWARD NOMINEES

***Read Saving Country Music’s Picks & Prognostications***

Many Awards Have Already Been Handed Out:

  • New Male Vocalist of the Year – Brett Young
  • New Female Vocalist of the Year – Lauren Alaina
  • New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year – Midland
  • Vocal Event of the Year –
  • Single of the Year –
  • Songwriter of the Year – Rhett Akins

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

• Jason Aldean
• Garth Brooks
• Luke Bryan
• Chris Stapleton
• Keith Urban

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

• Kelsea Ballerini
• Miranda Lambert
• Reba McEntire
• Maren Morris
• Carrie Underwood

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

• Jason Aldean
• Thomas Rhett
• Chris Stapleton
• Keith Urban
• Chris Young

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

• Brothers Osborne
• Dan + Shay
• Florida Georgia Line
• LOCASH
• Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

• Lady Antebellum
• LANCO
• Little Big Town
• Midland
• Old Dominion

NEW FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

• Lauren Alaina – WINNER
• Danielle Bradbery
• Carly Pearce
• Raelynn

NEW MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

• Kane Brown
• Luke Combs
• Devin Dawson
• Russell Dickerson
• Brett Young – WINNER

NEW VOCAL DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

• High Valley
• LANCO
• LOCASH
• Midland – WINNER
• Runaway June

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Breaker – Little Big Town
Producer: Jay Joyce

California Sunrise – Jon Pardi
Producers: Bart Butler, Jon Pardi

From A Room Vol. 1 – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton

Happy Endings – Old Dominion
Producer: Shane McAnally

Life Changes – Thomas Rhett
Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • Better Man – Little Big Town
  • Body Like A Back Road – Sam Hunt
  • Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton
  • Drinkin’ Problem – Midland
  • I’ll Name The Dogs – Blake Shelton

SONG OF THE YEAR

• Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt
Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

• Female – Keith Urban
Songwriters: Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon and Shane McAnally

• Tin Man – Miranda Lambert
Songwriters: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall

• Whiskey And You – Chris Stapleton
Songwriters: Lee Thomas Miller, Chris Stapleton

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

  • Black – Dierks Bentley
  • It Ain’t My Fault – Brothers Osborne
  • Legends – Kelsea Ballerini
  • Marry Me – Thomas Rhett
  • We Should Be Friends – Miranda Lambert

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

• Rhett Akins – WINNER
• Ashley Gorley
• Hillary Lindsey
• Shane McAnally
• Josh Osborne

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR

  • Craving You – Thomas Rhett Featuring Maren Morris
  • Dear Hate – Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
  • Funny (How Time Slips Away) – Glen Campbell And Willie Nelson
  • The Fighter – Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood
  • What Ifs – Kane Brown Featuring Lauren Alaina