On with the show: Long-awaited ACM Awards airing Wednesday featuring Carrie Underwood, Trisha Yearwood, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton appear together on "The Voice" Season 17. [Photo by Trae Patton/NBC]

The long-delayed 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from Tennessee, on Wednesday, but, not surprisingly, the show will have plenty of Oklahoma star power.

The ACM Awards normally take place in the spring in Las Vegas, but have been shifted to a fall date in Music City due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hosted by reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM Award winner Keith Urban, the awards show will be broadcast live from Nashville from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday on the CBS Television Network. The show will be available to stream on demand and on CBS All Access, too.

For the first time in the show’s history, the ACM Awards will be centered in Nashville. The show will be broadcasting live from three iconic country music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, the historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe.

The nominees

Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Brooks & Dunn and Maddie & Tae are among the stars with Oklahoma ties who were announced back in February as nominees for the 2020 ACM Awards.

A Checotah native, Underwood is nominated for the top prize, Entertainer of the Year, alongside Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett. In addition, Underwood earned a nod for Female Artist of the Year.

Shelton, an Ada native now based in Tishomingo, garnered four nominations, including three — Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year — for his smash “God’s Country.” He shares his Single of the Year nod with producer Scott Hendricks, a Clinton native and Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer.

Shelton also is nominated for Music Event of the Year for his hit duet “Dive Bar” with Brooks, a fellow Oklahoma native who was born in Tulsa and grew up in Yukon. Shelton previously won Music Event of the Year in 2009 for his Trace Adkins duet “Hillbilly Bone.”

Lambert, a former Tishomingo resident, received three nominations, including Female Artist of the Year, which she has won nine times, more than any other woman in the history of the ACM Awards.

She earned a nomination for Album of the Year for "Wildcard," which includes five songs she co-wrote with Oklahoma native Luke Dick, and received a nomination for Music Event of the Year for her all-star cover of “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” featuring Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack and Elle King. “Fooled Around and Fell in Love" is the signature hit of Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer Elvin Bishop, who grew up in Tulsa.

In the Duo of the Year category, two nominees have Oklahoma ties: Brooks & Dunn — the pairing of Louisiana native Kix Brooks and former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn — and Maddie & Tae — the combination of Maddie Marlow of Sugar Land, Texas, and Taylor Dye of Ada.

Morris, Rhett and producer Dann Huff each received a leading five nominations. Duo Dan + Shay received four nominations, with Shay Mooney receiving an additional nod and Dan Smyers earning two additional nods.

This year’s nominations list includes 25 artists and creators receiving their first-ever ACM Awards nominations, including pop superstar Justin Bieber for his Dan + Shay collaboration "10,000 Hours"; Lil Nas X and producers Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and YoungKio for their ubitiquitous smash "Old Town Road"; and English music video director Sophie Muller for helming Shelton's "God's Country" clip.

In the industry categories, two Oklahoma venues are nominated for Casino of the Year — Theater: The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa and WinStar Global Event Center in Thackerville.

The performers

Billed as "a night of heart and hits," the ACM Awards will feature several special performances.

In celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, Underwood will laud the trailblazing female Opry members by performing a medley of songs by fellow Oklahoma native Reba McEntire, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride and Dolly Parton.

A former Owasso resident and multi-ACM Award winner, Trisha Yearwood will give a special performance of “I’ll Carry You Home” from her critically acclaimed album "Every Girl" for an "in memoriam" segment. Several key figures in country music have died in 2020, including Kenny Rogers, John Prine, Charlie Daniels and Oklahoma natives Joe Diffie and Jamie Oldaker of the Tractors.

Shelton, another multi-ACM Award winner, and his pop icon girlfriend and fellow "The Voice" coach Gwen Stefani will perform their latest romantic single “Happy Anywhere.”

At The Bluebird Cafe, Lambert will be joined by her co-writers Dick and Hemby to play their uplifting chart-topper "Bluebird."

Other performers for the show include Jimmie Allen; Kelsea Ballerini; Gabby Barrett; Kane Brown; Bryan; Church; Combs; Dan + Shay; Florida Georgia Line; Riley Green; Mickey Guyton; Tim McGraw; Morris; Old Dominion; and Rhett featuring Jon Pardi, Townes and Morgan Wallen.

Adding to the star power will be presenters Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Cam, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Bobby Bones, Darius Rucker and Runaway June.


Hosted by Keith Urban, the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on demand on CBS All Access at https://www.cbs.com/all-access.

Related Photos

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton appear together on "The Voice" Season 17. [Photo by Trae Patton/NBC]
Carrie Underwood performs inside Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sept. 25, 2019, during her "Cry Pretty Tour 360" in Oklahoma City. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman Archives]
Carrie Underwood [Randee St. Nicholas photo]
Miranda Lambert [Ellen Von Unwerth photo]