Tag Archives: Academy of Country Music Awards

Lady Antebellum & Miranda Lambert Weekend in Las Vegas

In the fickle music biz, careers many times breeze in and out like the capricious winds. 

Last year the Nashville trio Lady Antebellum, right, – “Lady A” to their fans – didn’t win the one category they were nominated in last year (for Top Vocal Group), but this year it’s a whole new story. They’re the favored front-runner, with seven nominations for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

Lady Antebellum’s free performance drew a huge crowd to Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas last night.  Some said the show drew upwards to 20,000 people. If so, that would make it the largest non-New Year’s Eve gathering ever on Glitter Gulch and the biggest in the four-year tradition of ACM-related concerts. 

Nominated for seven awards, the group attended last Wednesday’s “American Idol” show and did a post-show taping of their hit “Need You Now.” Their performance will be part of the “Idol Gives Back” show next week. 

Lady Antebellum announced on Friday that their latest, “American Honey,” was the band’s third consecutive No. 1.  Lady Antebellum’s current single, “Need You Now,” is No. 4 on Billboard’s overall Hot 100 song chart, sandwiched between Train and Lady Gaga. 

Miranda Lambert, right, a six-time nominee for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards show, though, will prove tough competition.  She heads an ACM-filled lineup of free concerts tonight at the Fremont Street Experience. Lambert performs from 10:45 to midnight on the Third Street stage. Kicking off the evening from 7-7:30 p.m. at the First Street stage will be Joey + Rory, the Top Vocal Duo nominee. Gloriana, the Top New Vocal Group nominee, plays from 7:45-8:25 p.m., also at the First Street stage. The Randy Rogers Band, nominated for Top Vocal Group, performs from 8:40-9:25 p.m. on the Third Street stage. Luke Bryan, winner of the Top New Solo vocalist award, precedes Lambert, from 9:40-10:30 p.m., performing on the First Street stage. 

If you’re lucky enough to catch Lambert and others tonigt performing live in Las Vegas, it’s a good deal.  The ceremonies at the MGM Grand Garden are a pricey ticket if you don’t have friends at a record label, topping out at $450 for something you can watch free at home. (The 5 p.m. festivities air on CBS, live on the East Coast and tape-delayed on Las Vegas KLAS-TV, Channel 8, at 8 p.m.) 

Most of the ACM stars will stick around Monday in Las Vegas for “Brooks & Dunn — The Last Rodeo,” an all-star tribute concert that will be taped at the MGM for a separate CBS show airing next month. Tickets are $108 to $208 for the 7:30 p.m. show in which the likes of Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and George Strait will salute the venerable duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn before they hang it up. 

The ACM Awards ride country music’s ever-growing popularity; what once was a niche genre is getting harder to distinguish from any remaining notions of a separate pop world. 

Last year’s ACM broadcast drew 14.8 million total viewers, a 26 percent gain from the year before. “It’s a happy problem,” says Barry Adelman, a producer and writer for the broadcast. “We’re not trying to fix something that’s dipping, we’re trying to keep something that’s going up, going up even higher.” 

And lest we forget…Garth Brooks isn’t performing at Wynn Las Vegas this weekend. But Steve Wynn did buy him that private jet and the pilot surely knows the route by now. And who would want to leave that guy out of a weekend like this one?

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Academy of Country Music Awards Brings Oodles of Celebs to Las Vegas

Brooks & Dunn, Lady Antebellum, Randy Houser, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Montgomery Gentry are just some of the many country music stars planning to participate in the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards In Las Vegas starting on April 18. 

Honoring country music’s top talent and the industry’s hottest emerging talent, to be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 18 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. In addition, the Academy will tape an all-star concert special, ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo at the same location on Monday, April 19, to air at a later date on the CBS Television Network. Both shows are produced for television by Dick Clark Productions.

The list of events includes the ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience, the ACM Chairman’s Ride, a special USO performance, All-Star Jam and more. 

Some details are as follows, with timing information to be released later: 

Friday & Saturday, April 16 & 17

ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience – For the 4th year in a row, the Academy of Country Music presents concerts at Fremont Street Experience! Featuring headlining performances by Lady Antebellum on Friday and Miranda Lambert on Saturday, these free and open-to-the-public concerts start at 6:30pm on two stages in downtown Las Vegas.  For the 2nd year in a row, winners in each of the newcomer categories Top New Solo Vocalist, Top New Vocal Group and Top New Vocal Duo will have the chance to perform at Fremont Street Experience during these concerts. 

Saturday, April 17 

ACM Chairman’s Ride – This event has grown from its inception and for the second year will be an invitation-only event for artists and industry VIPs to experience a scenic ride through the gorgeous Nevada landscape. ACM/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award honorees of 2010, Montgomery Gentry, will host the ride for the 6th time this year. The event benefits ACM Lifting Lives. Event details and timing will be made available only to invited, registered participants.

USO Concert in Partnership with ACM Lifting Lives™ – For the first time ever, ACM Lifting Lives (the Academy’s charitable arm) is partnering with the USO to bring a free, private concert to the service men and women of Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas, NV. USO tour veterans Montgomery Gentry and Randy Houser are scheduled to perform for the crowd. The event will be open to all military ID holders and media credentialed specifically for this event. 

Sunday, April 18 

45th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS – Hosted by Reba McEntire for a record 12th time and featuring the hottest performances by today’s superstars of country, the Awards will once again take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

ACM All-Star Jam – This raucous, no-holds-barred jam features impromptu performances from the artists who participate in the Awards. Past performers have included Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Evans, Jack Ingram, Jewel, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Montgomery Gentry, James Otto, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Dwight Yoakam and more. 

Monday, April 19

ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo – Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, the best-selling duo in the history of country music, will receive the Academy’s Milestone Award in recognition of their 20-year, record-breaking career during this tribute concert special. They will be honored for holding the record for the most wins of any artist in the Academy’s history with 26 awards in total, including three Entertainer of the Year awards. They will also be honored for holding the record for most Top Vocal Duo wins, with 15 awards, eight of which are consecutive from 2000-2007. Artists already scheduled to perform at the taping include superstars Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Details on special elements of the show and more performers that will be added will be announced at a later date. Tickets are still available for this show, which benefits ACM Lifting Lives and will air at a later date on CBS Television Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. For information on tickets visit www.Ticketmaster.com

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Oh Where, Oh Where has Julianne Hough Gone?

It’s been a rather long time since Las Vegas Backstage Access has written on the Dancing With the Stars Julianne Hough- on April 6, 2009 to be exact, when she garnered awards at the Academy of Country Music Awards show in Las Vegas. 

Hough, 21, who as a Las Vegas youth attended the Las Vegas Academy and whose mom still lives here, is reportedly recording a CD that will reflect her musical influences (such as U2 and Coldplay), and she’s also making two movies, the remake of Footloose, as well as Burlesque, starring along with Cher and Christina Aguilera.  If that’s not enough, she also has a cardio ballroom dance workout DVD, Dance with Julianne, due out in January. 

Is she done with Dancing With the Stars?  

“Never say never,” Hough says, “but at least for the next two seasons.”

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‘Fearless’ Taylor Swift Makes Tracks Back to Las Vegas

Not many artists have an opportunity to make a concert entrance by descending from the rafters in an elevator and exiting to the showroom floor via a David Copperfield magic illusion, but young country music star sensation Taylor Swift had just that, stealing the moment at the 2009 Academy of County Music Awards at the MGM Grand Las Vegas on April 5.  taylorswift1

Swift will be back in Las Vegas on May 23 as she brings her Fearless Tour 2009 to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  Opening acts will be American Idol alum Kelli Pickler and country music group Gloriana. 

A few tickets are still available if you want to watch the Nielsen 2008’s top-selling artist perform.

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Las Vegas Goes Country, Hollywood Tags Along

When Las Vegas hosts a party, stand back- nothing is ever commonplace in the City of Entertainment.  Last night’s 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Arena proved to be no exception.   The buzz of the award’s evening followed a week of Las Vegas fun, glitz, and glamour as Hollywood stars joined with country music’s best and brightest. 

The three-hour awards show featured award presenters Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie Foxx and Matthew McConaughey, but all eyes were on legendary Reba McEntire as she hosted the show for the 11th consecutive year.  

Providing a fitting prelude to the awards, hundreds of frenzied fans greeted their favorite musicians and singers on the red carpet outside of the MGM Grand before the show. 

After Kenny Chesney performed “Out Last Night”, Jennifer Love Hewitt arrived on stage wearing in a long white flowing gown and announced the first award of the night for Song of the Year among award contenders George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Heidi Newfield, Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins. 

Jennifer said she was not only a big fan of country music but also of Vegas. “There’s no place I’d rather be,” she said before announcing, in a surprise win, that Jamey Johnson had won for “In Color.” 

In the competition for Top Vocal Duo award, the very popular Sugarland beat out Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry and Joey + Rory.  Sugarland is playing at live in concert at the Primm Valley Casino Resorts on July 24.  [Las Vegas Backstage Access February 11 article.] 

Las Vegas resident, MGM Grand illusionist and Magician of the Century David Copperfield, a coming-out country music fan that attended the ACM for the first time, donned a black Stetson while he pulled up his sleeves and made Taylor Swift magically appear from an overhead empty suspended box on the stage.  Swift hung around a bit to receive her crystal award for having the most record sales in the year and winning the Album of the Year Award for “Fearless.” 

Hollywood superstar and frequent Las Vegas entertainer Jamie Foxx, raised in Texas, confessed he was also a country music fan and then proceeded to introduce country music legend George Strait, saying he will be a guest singer for his friend at a taping in Las Vegas today for a May 27 CBS special when Strait is honored as Artist of the Decade.   Straight, with a career spanning 25 years, is the most nominated artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards with a total of 78. 

Las Vegas’ hometown product Julianne Hough – she attended Las Vegas Academy and her mother lives here – julieanne1provided a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction moment, though subtle, before gushing and accepting with pride her duo Top New Artist and fan favorite Top New Female Artist awards as her country singer boyfriend Chuck Wicks waited in the wings, cheering her on. 

Julianne and Chuck left this morning from Las Vegas on a flight to be back in Hollywood for tomorrow night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars, where they will partner for a Viennese Waltz to a Rascal Flatts number.   (Rascal Flatts won once again.)

The highlight and culmination of the evening came when Carrie Underwood won the Entertainer of the Year award, carrieunderwoodbeing the lone female among nominees Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban.  Matthew McConaughey made the awards presentation.   (Did she really venture out after the event and check out George Strait’s ‘white boots’ in McConaughey’s car?) 

There was never a dull moment.  Even before it started, Tim McGraw got in a production fracas that ended with him walking out before the show started. 

Sporting his ‘Made In USA’ labeled guitar, John Rich sang to a cheering crowd “Shutting Detroit Down,” a ballad of frustration on corporate greed and workers getting the short end of the proverbial stick. 

Toby Keith took the opportunity to single out a reporter from a Nashville newspaper over the publication of a Rolling Stone story by actor Ethan Hawke. Both Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson denied the story, but the Tennessean published it anyway without reaching out to Toby. He lambasted the reporter with a series of F-bombs, and it seriously looked as if he might leave the media stage and go after the writer — but cooler heads prevailed, and Toby left the room abruptly. 

Behind the scenes, Trace Adkins, who was the runner-up on the first season of Celebrity Apprentice, took a verbal shot at this season’s participant Dennis Rodman. Trace said that if the former bad boy of basketball didn’t change his ways, it would wind up killing him. 

All this action in just one grand and glorious Las Vegas evening.

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