The Academy of Country Music has revealed what it says is the full performance lineup for its April 18 awards show on CBS, a list of 29 performers that includes co-hosts Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton as well as major stars of the genre like Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Maren Morris and Luke Combs.
Also slated to appear on the three-show show are Dan + Shay, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Kane Brown, Brothers Osborne, Ashley McBryde, Kelsea Ballerini, Alan Jackson, Carly Pearce, Chris Young, Jack Ingram, Lee Brice, Ryan Hurd, Elle King, CeCe Winans, Jon Randall and the War and Treaty.
Although no songs were announced, it appears fairly certain that Lambert, Ingram and Randall will be joining up to premiere a song from their upcoming album as a Texas trio, “The Marfa Tapes,” due out May 7. Lambert and King recently released a joint single, “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” making that another likely possibility for the show.
Winans is the only guest artist on Underwood’s new album of Christian music, “My Savior,” joining the country superstar to sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” so that also seems like a good bet, as well.
Country awards shows are sometimes criticized by fans within the genre as having too many pop stars as duet partners. That trend appears to be on the wane with this year’s ACM Awards, if there are no further performers to be announced, as the only non-country artists on the lineup are King, Winans and the War and Treaty. This may be a creative decision or more a matter of literally keeping it close to home, as one big reason for holding the show in Nashville for a second year is not asking stars to fly during a pandemic.
As previously announced, the ACM Awards will be following the same format in 2021 as in 2020, being broadcast from Nashville — as opposed to the show’s usual pre-pandemic Las Vegas — and from the papa-bear, mama-bear and baby-bear-sized locations of the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe.
The Dick Clark Productions show airs April 18 live at 8 p.m. on the east coast and tape-delayed in the same prime-time slot on the west coast.