The 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards, also known as the ACM Awards, was a star-studded affair that brought the best of country music back to Las Vegas. Here’s what you may have missed:
On Friday, April 1st, the Academy of Country Music kicked off the fourth ACM Party for a Cause Festival at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. Carrie Underwood headlined the special “ACM Women of Country Night” featuring an all-female lineup of performers on the Ram Trucks Main Stage including Cam, Kelsea Ballerini, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler and Maddie & Tae as well as performances by Lauren Alaina, Kelleigh Bannen, Brandy Clark and Jana Kramer on the Cabela’s Stage.
Alaina, Bannen, Kramer and Picker all joined Underwood on stage for a big grand finale performing “Before He Cheats.” In addition, Miranda Lambert made a surprise appearance during Underwood’s set to perform “Something Bad” alongside Underwood.
On Saturday, April 2nd, Dierks Bentley headlined the second night of the ACM Party for a Cause Festival. The event continued with an all-star lineup of performers on the Ram Trucks Main Stage including Frankie Ballard, Lee Brice, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, Chris Stapleton and Chris Young. Earlier performances on the Cabela’s Stage featured Chase Bryant, Courtney Cole, Chris Lane, Jackson Michelson and A Thousand Horses.
During the second day of the festival, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelly and Eric Paslay joined Bentley on stage to perform Kelley’s debut solo single, “The Driver.” While the festival was filled with amazing performances from the heavy-hitters of country music, there were also a number of checks presented on behalf of the Academy’s charitable arm, ACM Lifting Lives to beneficiaries of this year’s ACM Party for a Cause Festival including Folds of Honor, Military Warriors Support Foundation, Honor Flight Southland, Navy SEAL Foundation, and Task Force Dagger Foundation.
On Sunday, April 3rd, Kenny Chesney closed out the festival with a full set after his performance on the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards. The three-day event at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds concluded with an all-star lineup of performers on the Ram Trucks Main Stage including Kip Moore, Sam Hunt, Chase Rice, Brett Eldredge, and Old Dominion. Earlier performances on the Cabela’s Stage featured Granger Smith, Lindsay Ell, and Marren Morris.
Throughout the three-day festival, ACM CEO Bob Romeo presented a number of acts with their ACM Awards. Those who received awards included:
- Ballerini, who received the ACM Award for New Female Artist of the Year.
- Underwood received the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award. She was chosen to receive this new award, named in honor of late ACM Lifting Lives Chairman Gary Haber, which was created by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors to recognize a country music artist or industry professional who is committed to serving others, has a generosity of spirit and shows a dedication to helping those in need.
- Stapleton received the ACM Award for New Male Artist of the Year.
- Old Dominion received the ACM Awards for New Duo/Group of the Year.
See more photos below.