ACMs 2018: Everything You Need to Know About the Show

Saddle up! The 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards are nearly here!

The annual awards show, which hold the honor of being the first country-related awards ever held by a major organization, will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

This year’s impressive lineup of performers and nominees are sure to keep country fans glued to their TVs all night.

Want to be the star of your viewing party? Here’s everything you need to know about the ceremony, before it gets underway this weekend.

Who’s Hosting?

She made history earlier this year as KFC’s first female Colonel Harland Sanders. And now Reba McEntire will continue her making history, this time returning to host the ACMs for the first time since 2012.

She replaces outgoing hosts Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley.

McEntire has a long history of hosting the ACMs (This will be her 15th time, in fact!). She first co-hosted the awards alongside John Schneider and Mac Davis back in 1986. She’d get her first solo shot at the stage in 1999, then hosted every year from 2001-2010. In 2011 and 2012, McEntire got a co-host: Blake Shelton.

What About the Nominees?

Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2017/FilmMagic

Chris Stapleton leads the pack with eight nominations, including his first nod for entertainer of the year — the show’s most prestigious honor (last year it went to Jason Aldean for the second consecutive time). Stapleton was also nominated for male vocalist of the year, and twice for both album of the year and single record of the year.

Following closely behind is Thomas Rhett with six nominations including his second in male vocalist of the year category. He also earned a nomination for vocal event of the year for “Craving You,” which features Maren Morris.

Keith Urban has five nominations, including his eighth nomination for entertainer of the year and eleventh for male vocalist of the year. Meanwhile, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill celebrated a milestone with their first-ever nomination in the vocal duo of the year category.

Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris tied with four nominations each. Lambert received her twelfth nod for female vocalist of the year — if she wins, it’ll be her ninth consecutive win in the category. It would also help her retain her position as the most consecutive wins in that category.

Morris received her second nod in the female vocalist of the year category and was nominated twice in the vocal event of the year category for her song “Dear Hate” featuring Vince Gill.

Who’s Performing? 

Nominees Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, and Thomas Rhett will all take the stage.

Other performers include Alan Jackson, Jon Pardi, Kenny Chesney, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Dan + Shay, Darius Rucker, Kane Brown,  Lauren Alaina, Keith Urban, Julia Michaels, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Toby Keith and Blake Shelton.

Florida Georgia Line, who are up for vocal duo of the year, will be joined by Bebe Rexha to sing their hit collaboration “Meant to Be” in Rexha’s debut appearance on the ACMs’ stage.

McEntire will also take the stage alongside Kelly Clarkson, singing “Does He Love You.”

But all eyes will be on Carrie Underwood, who will perform her new ballad, “Cry Pretty.” The awards show will mark the American Idol winner’s first stage performance since her November accident which she suffered multiple injuries, including a broken wrist and damage to her face that resulted in 40 to 50 stitches.

How Can You Watch?

The 2018 ACM Awards will air live on CBS. Cord-cutters can stream the show live on their devices on CBS All Access.

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