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ACM Awards brings live performances back to TV. Here's a look at who's nominated and what to expect
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ACM Awards brings live performances back to TV. Here's a look at who's nominated and what to expect

Music-ACM Awards

This combination photo shows country singers, from left, Luke Bryan, Kane Brown and Mickey Guyton who will perform at this year's ACM Awards in Nashville. (AP Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — At the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday, there won't be fake fans, canned applause or pre-taped acceptance speeches. After a five-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards show wants to bring the live television experience back again.

The 55th annual ACM Awards, normally held in April in Las Vegas, were delayed this year and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, for the first time. But while other music award shows have tried a hybrid of virtual stages, music video-style performances or at-home shows, the ACMs will be broadcast on CBS from three indoor stages in Nashville, Tennessee.

"We've tried to maintain, for lack of a better word, the normalcy of what we do at the ACM Awards, which is presentations of lot of live performances on stages," said R.A. Clark, who is in his 21st year as executive producer of the show.

The performances, some of which are pre-taped, span three historically important stages in country music history, but none will be open for fans. The smallest, the Bluebird Cafe, accommodated only about 90 people pre-pandemic and the venue helped to start the careers of Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift, among many others. Miranda Lambert will sing the aptly titled "Bluebird" from the small stage, with other performances from Tim McGraw, Jimmie Allen and Luke Combs. The Ryman Auditorium, an early landmark for gospel and bluegrass as well as country, will feature performances by Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett with Jon Pardi and Kelsea Ballerini.

Even Taylor Swift is making her return to the ACMs after seven years with a performance from her new album "Folklore," which has spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Swift will perform at the Grand Ole Opry House, the center of operations for the live broadcast where host Keith Urban and presenters will give out the awards. Clark said that's what is setting this pandemic awards show apart from others.

"Hearing the winners and having live acceptance speeches is essential," said Clark.

Here are the nominees (and winners of already announced categories)

Entertainer of the Year

  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Carrie Underwood

Female Artist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

Male Artist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie and Tae

Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • The Highwomen

New Female Artist of the Year

  • Ingrid Andress
  • Gabby Barrett
  • Lindsay Ell
  • Caylee Hammack
  • Tenille Townes — Winner

New Male Artist of the Year

  • Jordan Davis
  • Russell Dickerson
  • Riley Green — Winner
  • Cody Johnson
  • Morgan Wallen

Album of the Year

  • Center Point Road – Thomas Rhett
  • Girl – Maren Morris
  • Heartache Medication – Jon Pardi
  • What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs
  • Wildcard – Miranda Lambert

Single of the Year

  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
  • “One Man Band” – Old Dominion
  • “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves
  • “Rumor” – Lee Brice
  • “What If I Never Get Over You” – Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay feat. Justin Bieber
  • “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” – Ashley McBryde
  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
  • “One Man Band” – Old Dominion
  • “Some of It” – Eric Church

Video of the Year

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay feat. Justin Bieber
  • “God’s Country – Blake Shelton
  • “One Man Band” – Old Dominion
  • “Remember You Young” – Thomas Rhett — Winner
  • “Sugarcoat” – Little Big Town

Music Event of the Year

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay feat. Justin Bieber
  • “Dive Bar” – Garth Brooks feat. Blake Shelton
  • “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” – Miranda Lambert feat. Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack, and Elle King — Winner
  • “Old Town Road” – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • “What Happens in a Small Town” – Brantley Gilbert feat. Lindsay Ell

Songwriter of the Year

  • Ashley Gorley
  • Michael Hardy
  • Hillary Lindsey — Winner
  • Shane McAnally
  • Josh Osborne

Photos: Scenes from the red carpet at the 2019 ACM Awards

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