ACM Awards Announce Lineup of 15 Performers, Including Lainey Wilson, Kane Brown, Luke Combs

The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions announced an initial lineup of 15 performers for their upcoming awards show on Prime Video, with a heavy focus on the younger performers who have the lion’s share of nominations going into the May 11 kudocast.

Represented in the first list of artist to perform are Lainey Wilson, who has six nominations for the ACM Awards, and Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert and Cole Swindell, each of whom has five. Other nominees named for a performance slot are Morgan Wallen, Ashley McBryde, Bailey Zimmerman, the War and Treaty, Cody Johnson and Jason Aldean.

Sure to pick up some attention from the show is newcomer Jelly Roll; although he doesn’t go into the show with any nominations, he’s one of the hottest freshmen of the moment, and his appearance on the recent CMT Music Awards telecast was widely considered one of the highlights.

Lest the awards show be considered strictly a bastion of artists who’ve only reached the limelight in the last six years, a few longer-standing country stars — Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and Jo Dee Messina — have joined the bill as well. Parton is co-hosting the show with Garth Brooks and will be closing the show with what’s billed as the world premiere of the first single from her upcoming “rock” album.

The songs the other performers will be doing has not been announced, but it’s highly likely Messina would be singing “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” the country oldie that Swindell spun off into the 2022 hit “She Had Me at Heads Carolina.”

The leading nominee for the ACMs, Hardy, who has seven nods, was not announced as part of the initial slate of performers, but it’d be a major surprise if he does not get booked for the show. The announcement Thursday reiterated that more performers will be announced in the two weeks to come before the show.

This year marks the second consecutive time that the ACM Awards will be seen live exclusively via a commercial-free livestream on Prime Video. Not relying on a traditional broadcast component means it’ll be live in all time zones, with the west coast not having to wait for a tape delay to air in prime time. It can be seen May 11 at 8 p.m. PT, 7 CT and 5 PT on Prime Video and the Amazon channel on Twitch. Starting the next day, it can be streamed on demand for free on Amazon Freevee.

The 2023 webcast will mark the second time the ACMs have aired from the Lone Star state, with a base at the Ford Center at the Star in Dallas-adjacent Frisco, Texas. The last time the show went down in Texas was at AT&T Stadium in 2015, for the 50th annual edition, which broke a Guinness record for being the most-attended awards show ever. 

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