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Publish Malone, Dua Lipa, Chris Stapleton Carry out

The nation music world shared the stage on the 2024 ACM Awards, the place Publish Malone carried out songs from his upcoming nation album, Dua Lipa joined Chris Stapleton for a duet, and Avril Lavigne and Noah Kahan partnered with nation musicians onstage.

It nearly felt like Beyoncé — who lately made historical past on the nation charts with Cowboy Nation — would possibly pop up. She didn’t Thursday evening, however host Reba McEntire did reference Queen Bey’s historic venture throughout her opening monologue.

We’re right here to speak about nation music and the way everyone seems to be invited and welcome right here at nation music’s occasion of the yr. From Mom Maybelle to Cowboy Carter, nation music is so large in 2024 that there’s room for everyone,” she mentioned. “All of us love nation [music] and all of us are nation, and we’re holding the circle unbroken, however rising it to even larger and higher.”

Beyoncé made historical past when she turned the primary Black girl to prime the Billboard nation albums and songs charts, respectively. Her album will qualify at subsequent yr’s ACM Awards.

But it surely was Lainey Wilson who was within the highlight on the two-hour occasion: She earned the highest award — entertainer of the yr — persevering with her profitable streak after accumulating the identical honor on the CMA Awards final November and her first Grammy in February.

The one feminine nominated for the large award, Wilson beat out acts like Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Jelly Roll, Kane Brown and Cody Johnson. She additionally received feminine artist of the yr and mentioned the camaraderie amongst girls acts within the style is particular.

“There are such a lot of girls in nation music who’ve guided me with out even realizing it earlier than I ever even obtained an opportunity to shake their hand and get to know them. They’ve taught me a lot,” she mentioned at Ford Heart at The Star in Frisco, Texas. “It’s loopy to suppose that me and Wynonna Judd, we discuss each week, and she or he sends me devotionals, she lifts me up, she encourages me, she offers me recommendation … and that’s what it’s about proper there. It’s about lifting one another up and talking life over one another, all of us. We obtained to do this for one another. Iron sharpens iron, and so this one proper right here is for all these girls who try this.”

Wilson additionally received music occasion of the yr for “Save Me” with Jelly Roll, who earned a standing ovation for his shifting speech.

“Critically, this music saved me. I used to be in a darkish place. I wrote it for my soul. I knew folks would join with it,” he mentioned emotionally. “I wrote it with a highschool pal. We by no means thought we’d be songwriters. I by no means thought I’d be standing right here. I assumed I’d die and go to jail. And I’m standing right here as an ACM Award winner!”

Jelly Roll, who launched his debut mixtape twenty years in the past, has dominated the nation charts but in addition had some success on the rock and rap charts. Malone has combined genres equally, and he debuted new music from his nation album on the awards present to roaring cheers from the viewers.

The 28-year-old carried out “By no means Love You Once more” and a solo model of his Morgan Wallen-assisted single “I Had Some Assist,” which was launched final week. Malone, who moved to Texas as a pre-teen, strummed his guitar whereas sporting Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s jersey, blue denims, boots and a military fatigue cap. His band additionally wore Cowboy jerseys (his father labored because the concessions supervisor for the NFL workforce).

Lipa, who launched a brand new album this month, joined Stapleton for a smoky, bluesy duet of his music “Suppose I’m In Love With You.” Stapleton went on to win male artist of the yr and album of the yr for Larger, which he shared along with his musician-wife Morgane Stapleton, who co-produced the album and in addition sang background vocals throughout his efficiency.

Lavigne sang onstage with Parker McCollum whereas Kelsea Ballerini and Noah Kahan carried out his hit “Stick Season.” Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton additionally joined forces to carry out “Purple Irises.”

Shelton additionally honored Toby Keith, who died in February, earlier than introducing a tribute efficiency by Jason Aldean.

“Toby was an enormous star in each means. He offered greater than 44 million albums with 33 No. 1 hits and 14 ACM awards, together with entertainer of the yr. However ultimately, the mark that Toby left was way more than simply that. Toby was a loving husband to his lovely spouse, Trisha, he was a proud father to their three youngsters, and we’re so honored and moved to have Trisha and the youngsters all right here with us tonight,” Shelton mentioned. “Toby was an amazing pal to me and he was an actual straight shooter who was bigger than life.”

Aldean sang Keith’s “Ought to’ve Been A Cowboy” and strummed his guitar in his seat, whereas two guitarists behind him did the identical. They had been joined by two violists, a violinist and a cellist, and photographs of Keith had been proven on the massive display screen behind him as viewers members sang alongside.

“I like you Toby,” Aldean mentioned as Keith’s household, in addition to attendees, had been in tears.

“I type of really feel such as you’re right here with us tonight,” McEntire mentioned after the efficiency.

The ACM Awards additionally highlighted different nation legends throughout its present, which aired on Prime Video. Charley Pleasure’s spouse and son, Rozene Cohran and Dion Pleasure, offered an award, and Dion informed the viewers: “My father mentioned, when he was alive, ‘I believe there’s sufficient room for nation music for everyone.’”

Ray Charles, who carried out on the ACMs 40 years in the past, was additionally honored when Kane Brown carried out his new cowl of  “Georgia on My Thoughts.”

McEntire closed the present with a rousing efficiency, and she or he additionally earned laughs from the viewers on the prime of the present.

“They had been simply telling me backstage that I received my very first ACM Awards 40 years in the past. I do know what you’re pondering, ‘Reba, you’re solely 39. How can that probably be true?’ Stop it,” she mentioned. “However severely, I’ve been round for some time. I can bear in mind means again when Jelly Roll was an after-school snack, Luke was one of many Gospels, not half of the fellows in nation music, and a stagecoach was how I set to work.”

Others who received awards on Thursday included Combs, who earned single of the yr for his cowl of Tracy Chapman’s “Quick Automobile” however missed the present due to his tour; Jordan Davis, who took house music of the yr for “Subsequent Factor You Know”; Dan + Shay received duo of the yr; and Outdated Dominion had been named group of the yr.

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