ACM Sets Lineup for ‘Our Country’ Special, With Plans for a Kenny Rogers SaluteVariety — Chris Willman
The “ACM Presents: Our Country” special that was recently slated to fill in for the postponed ACM Awards next month now has a packed roster of participating country (and a few non-country) artists. The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions announced more than two dozen acts who’ll participate in the show April 5, including veteran stars of the genre like Shania Twain and fresh ones like Luke Combs.
A tribute to the late Kenny Rogers will feature Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker — but probably not together, since the concept of the special is that all the artists will be performing from their homes, practicing social distancing.
There probably won’t be as much distance between Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, who’ll perform as a duo. Also announced with an ampersand between their names were Kane Brown and John Legend, although whether they’ll join up in the same space or duet virtually was left undeclared.
Keith Urban, who was supposed to have hosted the ACM Awards in the April 5 time slot before the show was pushed back to September 16, will perform on “ACM Presents: Our Country,” as expected. So will Miranda Lambert, one of the few artists who’d been announced to appear on the awards show before it was postponed.
Brandi Carlile and Sheryl Crow, who traverse back and forth between the country and rock worlds, are included on the lineup. Stalwarts of the genre, on a lineup that can legitimately be described as all-star, include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood.
The “Our Country” special, which will take up two hours of the ACM Awards’ intended three-hour slot, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT, is being described as a mixture of home acoustic performances and clips from the Academy of Country Music Awards’ 55 years on the air.
The ACM and Dick Clark Productions announced the new Sept. 16 date for the awards show three days ago, with a location yet to be announced, fueling speculation that the telecast may not return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where it was set to take place before the postponement.