Contrary to public belief, awards season did not end with the Oscars. The annual Academy of Country Music Awards, one of the biggest nights in country music, will be broadcast this Sunday, April 7 on CBS at 8PM EDT from Las Vegas.
Not to be confused with the CMA Awards (the Country Music Association is based in Nashville), the Academy of Country Music (ACM) was established in 1964, and was initially intended to promote the expansion of country music through the western U.S. The first awards ceremony was held in 1966, and has been broadcast annually on TV since 1972. Originally held in Los Angeles for years, the awards show was moved to Las Vegas in 2003.
The ACM Awards have long been associated with country icon Reba McEntire, who hosted the telecast for the past 14 years. But with McEntire’s announcement last fall that she was stepping down to pursue her role in the ABC television series Malibu Country, the baton was passed to her co-host Blake Shelton. Now in its 48th year, Sunday’s ACM Awards will be co-hosted by Shelton and Luke Bryan, both of whom are nominated for the top Entertainer of the Year award. (Should make for some interesting banter.)
As always, live performances are integral to the ACM Awards show. This Sunday, watch for special performances by Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Jewel, Lady A, Little Big Town and many others. Also watch for collaborations by Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban; Hunter Hayes and Stevie Wonder (what?); and George Strait with Garth Brooks, who will be paying tribute to the late Dick Clark. Not completely absent from the awards, Reba will step up to introduce the Strait/Brooks duo.
Regardless if your favorites are picked to win, there should be plenty of great entertainment for country fans at the ACM Awards. Be sure to tune in Sunday night at 8PM Eastern, 7PM Central.