Country News

Keith Urban promises "so many firsts" as the ACM Awards make their Nashville debut

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Academy of Country Music

The show must go on — even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. And this Wednesday night, that’s exactly what will happen, as the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards — originally scheduled for April in Las Vegas — embrace a much different reality, hosted by reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban.

“I’m glad it’s going ahead,” the Australian superstar tells ABC Audio. “I’m glad the ACMs are doing it.”

“You know, we’d never done it in Nashville,” he continues. “We’ve never done it without an audience. We’ve never done it in September. So there’s so many firsts.”

For its inaugural outing in Music City, the ACM Awards will showcase multiple iconic locations.

“I’m gonna be live at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville,” Keith explains. “We’re gonna cross over to some performances at other venues in Nashville.”

“We’re gonna utilize the Bluebird Cafe, which a lot of people around the world know about, but haven’t seen it before,” he adds. “So that’ll be a great opportunity for people to see it.”

“And then the Ryman Auditorium as well, which is one of my favorite venues to play in, in all the world. So I think we’re gonna make it a really fun show,” he predicts.

Expect performances by Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Kane BrownLuke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia LineRiley Green, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert,Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Old DominionThomas Rhett featuring Jon PardiBlake Shelton featuring Gwen StefaniTenille Townes, Carrie UnderwoodMorgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood, with Lauren AlainaClint Black and Lisa Hartman BlackCamDarius Rucker and Runaway June set to present awards as well.

You can tune in for all the action and surprises Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

By Stephen Hubbard
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