The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards were held last Wednesday and were far from short of amazing live performances. In what felt like somewhat a pre-COVID setting, a myriad of country stars took to the Grand Ole Opry, Bluebird Café, and the Ryman Auditorium stages (as opposed to pre-recorded or Zoom appearances) to perform at the awards which were televised on CBS.
It's almost impossible to pick a favourite from the night but here are a few highlights that we loved here at Tracks! Check out the full videos below.
Grand Ole Opry’s 95th Anniversary Tribute- Carrie Underwood
While Carrie Underwood is something of a country music veteran herself, she took to the Grand Ole Opry stage to honour those female artists who had come before her, performing a medley of Patsy Cline’s 'Crazy', Loretta Lynn’s 'You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)', Barbara Mandrell’s 'I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool', Dolly Parton’s 'Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That', Reba McEntire’s 'The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia', and Martina McBride’s 'A Broken Wing'.
In an historic win, the star shared the award for Entertainer Of The Year, alongside Thomas Rhett.
betty- Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift took to the ACM stage for the first time in seven years, to perform fan-favourite 'betty' from her eighth studio album, folklore.
Swift took a laid-back approach to her performance, doing her own makeup and styling, and flying completely solo with the exception of an accompanist on harmonica (shoutout harmonica player!). The singer has since released the live version of the song on streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.
Worldwide Beautiful- Kane Brown
Kane Brown opened his Grand Ole Opry performance with the words "I just want everybody to love everybody". His new song 'Worldwide Beautiful' has obvious themes of racial equality and unity, a call for which has been widely publicized this year in the United States and around the world. The song was released earlier in the year following the killing of George Floyd in May.
Brown was not nominated for any awards this year at the ACMs, in what some have labelled one of the biggest snubs of the year.
What Are You Gonna Tell Her?- Mickey Guyton
Accompanied by a lowkey Keith Urban on piano, Mickey Guyton made history as she took to the Grand Ole Opry stage, becoming the first black, female, solo artist to perform her own song at an ACM ceremony.
While 'What Are You Gonna Tell Her' was released too recently to be considered for an award this year, the first time mum-to-be delivered an emotional and powerful performance, tweeting shortly after "still in disbelief that this just happened".
Better Together- Luke Combs
In what was a very successful night for the country star, Luke Combs took to the stage at the iconic Bluebird Café to perform an intimate rendition of his song 'Better Together' (that sounded exactly like the studio recording might we add).
The singer took home the award for Male Vocalist and Album Of The Year, as well as being nominated for Entertainer Of The Year.
You can listen to more from all these incredible artists on Tracks96.1 on 96.1FM in Canterbury and iHeartRadio & Rova everywhere else!