Parker McCollum and Lainey Wilson were named as, respectively, best new male artist and best new female artist in early honors announced by the Academy of Country Music in advance of Monday’s live ceremony from Las Vegas on Prime Video.
The Academy posted videos of both artists getting the news from country superstar Miranda Lambert. Wilson still has a shot at winning something next week, as well: She’s up for song of the year for her No. 1 country hit “Things a Man Oughta Know.” McCollum has also earned a No. 1 song of his own, “Pretty Heart,” although the 2020 hit preceded the eligibility period for this year’s awards.
Both artists will get a performance slot on the show, which is foregoing a network broadcast component and will stream exclusively from Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT.
The Academy made some other announcements about the show Friday, including that Lady A will perform on the commercial-free two-hour webcast, and that Tenille Townes will offer a performance during the red carpet show that begins on Prime Video at 7 p.m. ET/4 PT.
The nature of Kelly Clarkson’s previously announced tribute to host Dolly Parton was revealed as well — she’ll be performing the classic “I Will Always Love You.”
Meanwhile, both of last year’s best new artist winners, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett, are being prominently featured on the 2022 show. Besides serving as co-hosts alongside Parton’s lead duties, they’ll team up for a tribute to Vegas that will have him singing “Viva Las Vegas” and her doing “Let’s Go to Vegas.” Separately, Allen will perform his new single “Down Home” and she’ll do the Lee Ann Womack classic “I Hope You Dance,” which she memorably performed during her stint on “American Idol” in 2018.
An additional slate of presenters was announced, including last year’s co-host, Mickey Guyton, “Yellowstone” actors Kelsey Asbille and Luke Grimes, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and novelist James Patterson (whose new book-length collaboration with Partion, “Run Rose Run,” is likely to be heavily plugged).
Previously announced performers include Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Walker Hayes, Kane Brown and the following teamings: Parton with Kelsea Ballerini; Breland with Thomas Rhett; Jordan Davis with Luke Bryan; ,Brothers Osborne and Brittney Spencer; Parmalee, Blanco Brown and Brooke Eden; Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde; and leading nominee Chris Young with Mitchell Tenpenny.
The show is being produced by MRC Live & Alternative. R.A. Clark and Damon Whiteside are executive producers.