HOT DISH: Star Power Keeps Getting Brighter for ACM Awards

Garth Brooks, George Strait to Perform a Duet as Tribute to Dick Clark

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also hosts CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her recipes at

Just when you think the Academy of Country Music Awards show can’t get any bigger or more exciting, they announce that Garth Brooks and George Strait will be there to perform together for the very first time.

They’re both recipients of the ACM’s Artist of the Decade award — Garth for the 1990s and George for the 2000s. Their performance will celebrate the renaming of the award to the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade award in honor of the iconic figure and longtime producer of the ACM Awards.

Clark, who died in 2012, began producing the ACM Awards in 1979. His son, R.A. Clark, is now an executive producer of the show and personally invited Garth and George to perform during the show taking place April 7 in Las Vegas.

Garth says he thinks naming the Artist of the Decade Award after Clark is a great idea.

“Although there is no award the entertainment industry has that can match the magnitude of the star Dick Clark was — and still is — it is an honor to get to be a part of the Academy’s tribute to him,” he said. “There may be others who have contributed as much to the music industry, but there is definitely no one that has contributed more than Dick Clark. He was music’s best friend and a dear friend to me.”

Even before that big announcement was made last week, the ACM had already assembled a powerhouse lineup of performers for the awards show, including Jason Aldean , Kenny Chesney , Eric Church , Tim McGraw , Taylor Swift , Carrie Underwood , Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town . Other performers include Kelly Clarkson , Hunter Hayes , Miranda Lambert , The Band Perry and co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan .

The ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on CBS.

Kellie and Wynonna Are Dancing With the Stars
I was so very proud of Kellie Pickler and Wynonna Judd last week when they made their debut on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. It must be hard work, too. Kellie said her feet were blistered and bleeding after the first rehearsal. She’s still trying to toughen herself up and is in the dance competition for the long haul.

“I’m here to dance,” Kellie told CMT Radio. “I wanna bring that shiny mirror ball home to Tennessee.”

More News
The CMA Songwriters Series returned to the Library of Congress’ Coolidge Auditorium in Washington, D.C., with a Wednesday night (March 20) performance featuring Ronnie Milsap , Lorrie Morgan , Jim Beavers and host Bob DiPiero.

I don’t know about you, but I love Don WilliamsDon Williams’ “Imagine That” video featuring Keith Urban . Between Don’s wonderful voice and Keith’s million-dollar smile and trillion-dollar guitar playing, it’s just out of this world.

Jake Owen and Lady Antebellum ’s Charles Kelley will be performing during the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival taking place April 2-6 at venues throughout Nashville. Besides Jake and Charles, the festival will also feature Ashley Monroe , Jim Lauderdale , Tracy Lawrence , Amy Grant, Sugarland ’s Kristian Bush and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, among many others.

See the Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id=”1615222″]Sausage and Egg Casserole.[/news]