ACM Awards 2021: Keith Urban Says ‘Nashville Is Back’ As Miranda Lambert & Elle King Kick Off Show

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Carrie Underwood and CeCe Winans wow viewers with their duo.  (Photo by Brent Harrington / CBS via Getty Images)



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One of country music’s biggest nights, the Academy of Country Music Awards, kicked off with a powerful duet between singer Miranda Lambert and pop singer Elle King.

The two performed their hit “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” while donning leather jackets adorned with long pink and blue pom poms.

After the number, hosts Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton took to the stage to greet viewers. Urban, 53, enthusiastically told fans that “Nashville is back” when he appeared.

The show takes place at several locations in Nashville, Tennessee, including the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Café.

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Next comes a performance of “Famous Friends” by Chris Young and Kane Brown.

Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards. (Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for ACM)

After bouncing back from a dangerous crash, hometown newcomer Blanco Brown presented the night’s top prize for Group of the Year, which went to Old Dominion. In their speech, the group expressed pride in being nominated alongside “such bada —-“.

Meanwhile, Thomas Rhett sang a mix of melodies including “What’s Your Country Song”. Lambert then took the stage once again – this time at the Bluebird Café – to sing along with Chris Stapleton after the star’s wife had to skip the show due to a “pre-engagement doula”.

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Another duo were Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris. The couple sang “Chasing After You” and kindly shared a kiss afterwards.

Carrie Underwood wowed viewers by singing a mix of Faith songs. Underwood was introduced virtually by Dolly Parton, who noted that the couple shared their faith.

Miranda Lambert and Elle King perform onstage at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on April 18, 2021 in Nashville, TN (Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for ACM)

Underwood who dazzled on stage was joined by CeCe Winans for a powerful duet.

Stapleton and Morris are the top nominees with six each. Stapleton’s nominations include album, song and male artist of the year. Morris’s nominations include Single and Female Artist of the Year. She also landed a Group of the Year as a member of the Highwomen, the supergroup also including Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby.

Carrie Underwood and CeCe Winans wow viewers with their duo. (Photo by Brent Harrington / CBS via Getty Images)

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Some of the ACM winners have been pre-announced, including Gabby Barrett (New Female Artist), Jimmie Allen (New Male Artist) and Kane Brown (Video of the Year). Carly Pearce and Lee Brice’s platinum hit “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” co-written by Combs, won the Music Event of the Year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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