CMT News

2014 ACM Awards: Las Vegas Gets in a Country Mood
Lots of Activities Underway Before and After Sunday Night's Awards Show
Las Vegas is being inundated with a wave of country music even before Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan co-host Sunday night's (April 6) Academy of Country Music Awards.

In fact, the music has already cranked up and will continue even after the awards show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

With Hunter Hayes, David Nail, Cole Swindell kicking off ACM Week activities with Thursday night's ACM Party for a Cause concert at the LINQ, the three-day party continues Friday with Rascal Flatts headlining a lineup that includes Florida Georgia Line, Justin Moore, Thomas Rhett , Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery, the Cadillac Three, Chase Rice, Charlie Worsham and Will Hoge.

Keith Urban headlines Saturday's Party for a Cause also featuring Chris Young, Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, Kip Moore, Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Parmalee, Love and Theft, Austin Webb, Leah Turner, Jon Pardi, Max Impact, Joel Crouse and Dan + Shay will also perform prior to the ACM After Hours concert hosted by Niemann and featuring Farr, American Young, Natalie Stovall and the Drive and the Swon Brothers.

Activities take a sporting turn Saturday when Darius Rucker returns to host the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic for the third consecutive year. Frankie Ballard , Scotty McCreery, Jake Owen, Cole Swindell and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley are among those scheduled to participate in the charity event at TCP Las Vegas.

Luke Bryan and Justin Moore will be up bright and early Saturday, too, to host the Great Outdoor Archery event at the LINQ. Lee Brice, Dallas Davidson, Tyler Farr, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, Thomas Rhett, Ashton Shepherd, Chase Rice, Josh Thompson, Austin Webb, Chuck Wicks and Florida Georgia Line will be taking part in the exhibition featuring 3-D and traditional targets.

While their goal will probably not be achieved, most artists and their bands will likely try to sleep late Sunday morning. However, with the ACM Awards taking place in the Pacific time zone, they'll start heading to the Grand Garden Arena by mid-afternoon to prepare for the show which airs live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.

Like any awards show, the 49th annual ACM Awards will include some surprise moments, but several performances have already been announced, including the latest news that Stevie Nicks will be joining Lady Antebellum for "Golden." Lady Antebellum has released a new version of the song featuring the Fleetwood Mac member.

Additional collaborations will include The Voice judges/mentors Blake Shelton and Shakira performing her latest single "Medicine" and Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow performing his current hit "I Hold On." Other performances will feature Lee Brice ("I Drive Your Truck"), Brad Paisley ("River Bank," his new single), Darius Rucker ("Wagon Wheel") and Rascal Flatts ("Rewind").

Although most of the ACM Awards telecast will take place at the Grand Garden Arena, some segments will include remote performances from the ACM Fan Jam at the nearby Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Others appearing during the telecast include Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, George Strait, Keith Urban, The Band Perry and Florida Georgia Line.

After the dust settles at the awards show, artists will be gathering Monday night to tape the CBS special ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops.

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are confirmed to sing a duet, and the Eli Young Band and Rascal Flatts have also been added to the event at the MGM Grand. They join previously-announced performers Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry.

LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell will co-host the special set to air May 20.
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