The 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards are here, and the stars are getting ready.
Nominees for the big night were announced in April, country music heavyweights Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton are set to host, and HARDY leads the pack with nominations.
Here is what else to know about one of country music’s biggest nights.
Where are the ACMs, and where can I watch?
This year’s ACM Awards will be held in Frisco, Texas, and available to stream live on Amazon Prime Thursday, May 11 starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Who is hosting the ACMs?
Hosting the show this year is two icons in the country music industry, Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks.
This will be Parton’s second time hosting the show, as she hosted last year alongside Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett; however, it will be Brooks’ first time taking on the role.
“I am thrilled to host the ACM Awards, this time with my friend Garth,” Parton told Forbes in March. “While I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with him throughout the years, I can’t believe we’ve never had the time to work together.”
“Anyone with Dolly Parton makes a fantastic couple,” Brooks added.
Who is nominated?
This year’s nominations are led by HARDY, who leads the pack with seven nominations at this year’s award show, sharing three of his nominations with Lainey Wilson.
Wilson comes in second in terms of nominations, with six of her own, in the categories for female artist of the year, album of the year, single of the year, song of the year, visual media of the year and music event of the year. Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs and Cole Swindell are tied for third with five nominations each.
Lambert is celebrating her 17th nomination for female artist of the year, breaking the record previously held by Reba McEntire at 16 nominations. The band Little Big Town received their 17th nomination for group of the year, coming close to breaking the record held by Alabama, with 18 nominations. They have been nominated for the award every year since 2005, except in 2011.
Lambert also has the most wins in ACM Awards history, with a total of 37 wins ahead of this year’s award show.
Both Chris Stapleton and Combs are nominated for entertainer of the year, meaning if either one wins they secure the coveted Triple Crown. To secure a Triple Crown, one must win entertainer of the year as well as new artist of the year and artist of the year, as a duo, group, male or female.
Also nominated for entertainer of the year this year is Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Lambert and Morgan Wallen, his first nomination in this category.
Wallen was previously barred from the award show and was removed from the ballot in 2021 after a video surfaced of him using a racial slur. He returned to the award show in 2022 and took home a trophy for album of the year for his album, “Dangerous: The Double Album.”
Who is performing?
Along with hosting the big evening, Parton will also be taking the stage as a performer.
Joining Parton on the stage as performers this year are Lainey Wilson, Keith Urban, Cole Swindell, Ashley McBryde, Jo De Messina, Jelly Role, Miranda Lambert, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, Kane Brown and Jason Aldean.
Wallen was scheduled to perform at the award show; however, he announced on his Instagram on Tuesday doctors told him he has vocal fold trauma and put him on six weeks of vocal rest. He was advised not to even speak for that amount of time, forcing him to cancel upcoming performances.
In his announcement, Wallen said he won’t be able to perform at the ACM Awards or the Lifting Lives charity event, but he still encouraged his fans to attend, calling it a “great cause.” He ended his statement by giving his fans some hope, saying: “I’ll see you soon, and I’ll be back better than never. God bless you.”
Despite Wallen’s absence, the show is gearing up to be a night to remember, with Ed Sheeran joining the already stacked lineup. There will also be some never-before-seen collaborations, including Carly Pearce and Trisha Yearwood, Ashley McBryde with Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti and John Osborne, and Cole Swindell with Jo Dee Messina.
Who is presenting?
Presenters at this year’s award show include, Gabby Barrett, BRELAND, Brandy Clark, Jordan Davis, Mickey Guyton, Tyler Hubbard, Dustin Lynch, TJ Osborne and Jon Pardi.
Also taking the stage to hand out awards are Carly Pearce, MacKenzie Porter, Dak Prescott, Emmitt Smith, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood.
Are there special awards?
Miranda Lambert is already a winner going into Thursday night’s award show, as she will be honored with the Triple Crown award. Only seven other artists have been awarded the Triple Crown, and Lambert was able to join the ranks after winning ACM awards for top new female vocalist in 2007, ACM female vocalist of the year a few times, the first being in 2010, and ACM entertainer of the year in 2022.
Other special awards include the Icon Award, which is being awarded to Connie Bradley this year. The Icon Award is given to an artist who has helped increase the popularity of country music through their work as a songwriter, in film or TV, touring and through their philanthropy.