Sunday evening (April 5) was supposed to be an evening filled with awards and large-scale musical productions for the annual Academy of Country Music awards on CBS. Instead, top country artists including Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker turned in performances from their homes, as part of a two-hour show titled ACM Presents: Our Country.
The event, hosted by Gayle King, aired in place of the ACM Awards, which were postponed due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak. ACM Presents: Our Country brought in 7.73 million viewers and averaged a 1.0 rating in the adults 18-49 demo.
This year’s Academy of Country Music Awards have been postponed until Sept. 16, and will still feature the current ACM Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban as host for the evening. A venue for the newly-rescheduled awards show, as well as a performer lineup, will be announced soon.
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During last night’s ACM Presents: Our Country, Eric Church debuted a new song, “Never Break Heart,” while Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley offered performances of “Mud On The Tires” and “Wagon Wheel” and later teamed for a tribute to the late Kenny Rogers, who died March 20 at age 81. Paisley and Rucker performed “Lucille” and “The Gambler,” followed by Luke Bryan’s rendition of “Coward of the County.” Carrie Underwood offered a rendition of her current single “Drinking Alone,” while Lady Antebellum performed “What I’m Leaving For.”
The show closed with Lionel Richie paying tribute to his friend and superstar Kenny Rogers.
“What stated out to be a great collaboration between two guys, Kenny Rogers and myself, ended up giving me a surprise. Not only did we have a hit record, but I found one of the greatest friends I ever had in my whole life,” Richie said. “The loss of him is tremendous on my heart. We lived so much life together, and tonight I want to celebrate his life. And I want to say to all of his fans: He enjoyed the ride. Let us celebrate his life, his legacy, and more importantly, the music. God bless you, Kenny. God bless your family. I love you very much.”
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Bless Your Heart!