Music Updates

Miranda Lambert & Elle King Set to Open 2021 ACM Awards: Show Details

Two artists will perform old hits as well as other songs. Blake Shelton will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first hit single, “Austin,” and will also sing “Minimum Wage.” Alan Jackson will perform “a special mashup” version of his 2002 hit “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” as well as “You’ll Always Be My Baby.” (“Austin” and “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” were both No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.)

Show hosts Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban are both also set to perform. Guyton will perform “Hold On” rather than her socially relevant “Black Like Me,” which she performed on the Grammy Awards March 14.

Carly Pearce and Lee Brice will perform “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” which is nominated for single of the year and music event of the year.

Brothers Osborne and Chris Stapleton are set to perform songs from their album of the year contenders. Brothers Osborne will perform “I’m Not for Everyone” from Skeletons. Stapleton will perform “Maggie’s Song” from Starting Over.

Thomas Rhett, who won entertainer of the year last year (in a tie with Carrie Underwood) will premiere two songs — “What’s Your Country Song” and “Country Again.”

Underwood will perform a medley of songs from her new album of gospel hymns, My Savior, including a duet with gospel great CeCe Winans.

Lambert with have a second performance spot in the show in which she teams with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall (“In His Arms”).

Other scheduled collab performances are by Chris Young and Kane Brown (“Famous Friends”), and Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney (“Half of My Hometown”).

Also set to perform: Kenny Chesney (“Knowing You”), Eric Church (“Bunch of Nothing”), Luke Combs (“Forever After All”) and Dan + Shay (“Glad You Exist”).

It was also announced Tuesday that Lady A will join the lineup, as will Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen, who are the recipients of new female and male artist of the year, respectively.

Previously announced performers include Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde and Urban. Additional details on these performances, presenters and more will be announced in the coming days.

Performances will be staged at a wide range of Nashville venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe, as previously announced, as well as the Station Inn, Bridge Building and on Broadway.

The 56th ACM Awards will air live on Sunday, April 18 (8 to 11:00 p.m., live ET/delayed PT) on CBS. The show will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

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