The Academy of Country Music somehow handled two of the strangest years in recent memory with incredible grace. Rather than attempting to deny the troubling circumstances, the organization leaned into the weird and hosted their annual West Coat awards show in Nashville for the first time, offering up a lot of visual variety between the different venues and imaginative pre-taped performances.
This year’s edition will likely be somewhat of a return to form, with a little bit of new sprinkled in. The show will be back in its longtime home of Las Vegas and a live audience will present, but this time around, it’s at a new venue and on a different network. After CBS declined to renew its contract to broadcast the ACM Awards, the ceremonies will now be a streaming-only event in conjunction with Amazon Prime.
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Here’s all you need to know to watch the 2022 ACM Awards.
When Are the ACM Awards?
The 57th ACM Awards are Monday, March 7. After two years of distanced and partially pre-taped shows in three of Nashville’s famous venues, the ACM Awards returns to its longtime home of Las Vegas for this year’s events. As a slight twist, it will be held at Allegiant Stadium rather than its previous longstanding location of MGM Grand Garden Arena. And, for the first time since 2019’s show, there will be an audience.
How Can I Watch the ACM Awards?
The ACMs air live on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET on March 7. Pre-show coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET with hosts Elaina Smith, Kristin Cavallari, Priscilla Block, and Zuri Hall, plus performances by Tenille Townes and Kat & Alex.
Amazon Prime members can watch the ACM Awards online free by logging in here. Don’t have an Amazon Prime account? Get a 30-day free trial here and use it to live stream the ACM Awards online for free.
Will the ACM Awards Be Available on Network Television?
No. This year marks a new shift to a streaming-only format, so make sure you have a trusty internet connection and a device such as an Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire Stick to watch. Bonus: it will be a commercial-free, 2-hour long broadcast and you won’t be up late to catch the ending.
Who’s Hosting the ACM Awards?
Dolly Parton, in the middle of a full-court press on a new album and book (Run, Rose, Run), will be joined by co-hosts Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett to oversee the proceedings.
Who’s Nominated at the ACM Awards?
Chris Young leads all nominees with seven total, a handful of which he shares with Kane Brown for the success of their duet “Famous Friends.” Other top nominees include Miranda Lambert, Walker Hayes, Jordan Davis, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Carly Pearce, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen, who’s back in the running one year after being ruled ineligible because of a well-documented scandal.
Collaborations also made a big impression this year. The Single of the Year category includes Young and Brown’s “Famous Friends,” Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan’s “Buy Dirt,” and Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood’s “If I Didn’t Love You,” all of which show up in at least one other category. The Video of the Year category is all collaborations for the first time, ranging from Taylor Swift and Chris Stapleton to Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s haunting ballad about infidelity.
Who Are the Entertainer of the Year nominees?
It turns out, exactly the same as the most recent slate of CMA Entertainer of the Year nominees: Eric Church, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, and Carrie Underwood will compete for the prize. Stapleton took home the CMA’s version of the award, while Luke Bryan, not nominated this year, won last year’s top prize at the ACMs. Carrie Underwood is the most recent ACM Entertainer of the Year winner represented here, having shared the prize in a tie with Thomas Rhett in 2019.
Who’s Performing at the ACM Awards?
Many of country’s present-day stars will get a turn onstage. Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Maren Morris, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Young will all perform. Kelly Clarkson will sing “I Will Always Love You” in tribute to co-host Dolly Parton. Walker Hayes, whose song “Fancy Like” was one of 2021’s biggest country singles and his commercial breakthrough, will perform. Co-hosts Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett will share the stage at the top of the show, a segment during which Allen will perform his new single “Down Home” and Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas,” and Barrett will sing Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” and Faith Hill’s “Let’s Go to Vegas.”
Collaborations also abound. Host Dolly Parton will sing her new song “Big Dreams and Faded Jeans” with Kelsea Ballerini, while Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde perform their duet “Never Wanted to Be That Girl.” Other collaborations include Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan on “Buy Dirt,” Brittney Spencer making her show debut with Brothers Osborne on “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’,” Breland and Thomas Rhett on “Praise the Lord,” Parmalee and Blanco Brown with Brooke Eden on “Just the Way,” and Chris Young and Mitchell Tenpenny on “At the End of a Bar.”
Who Are the Presenters at the ACM Awards?
Country artists Mickey Guyton and Jason Aldean will present awards, as will Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, Yellowstone‘s Luke Grimes and Kelsey Asbille, Outer Range‘s Tom Pelphrey, comedian Guy Torry, and author James Patterson.
ACM Awards vs. CMA Awards: What’s the Difference?
The ACM Awards are the centerpiece ceremony of the Academy of Country Music, a West Coast-based country music organization established in 1964. The ACMs are traditionally held every spring in Las Vegas, but were previously held in Los Angeles and, for their 50th anniversary, in Arlington, Texas. The pandemic caused the ACM Awards to move to Nashville for 2020 and 2021. The CMA Awards are the flagship of the Country Music Association, a Nashville-based country org founded in 1958. The top prize for both the ACMs and the CMAs is Entertainer of the Year. The CMAs are traditionally held in Nashville in November.
Watch the ACM Awards online on Prime Video here.
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