ACM Awards brings live country music back to TV amid pandemic

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NASHILLE: After a five-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Academy of Country Music Awards show is bringing the live television experience back again.

The 55th annual ACM Awards, normally held in April in Las Vegas, were delayed this year and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, for the first time on Wednesday, on CBS.

Whether they’re a guitar tech, a grip, an artist or a producer, everyone who enters any of their venues has to take a Covid-19 test, wear a mask and get their temperature checked.

But for entertainer of the year nominee Luke Bryan, the new restrictions means he won’t get to share his dressing room and drinks with his fellow artists.

“Half the time we’re sharing dressing rooms with other artists,” said Bryan, during interviews on Monday from Nashville.

“I’m kinda known as the dressing room bartender. I’ve always got my little cooler with my favorite stuff and everybody always drinks my spirits at the show.”

Taylor Swift returns

Even Taylor Swift is making her return to the ACMs after seven years with a performance from her new album “Folklore,” which has spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

Nominee Kelsea Ballerini said Swift never lost her country roots.

“I remember when ‘Betty ‘was most added on country radio, I texted her and I was like, ‘Welcome back,'” said Ballerini.

“So I’m really happy to see her do this and be be a part of a community that she’s been a part of building.”

Raising awareness

But the show will also reflect how difficult this year has been for many people during the pandemic.

Mickey Guyton’s performance will raise awareness about food insecurity.

“There are children out there that cannot buy food,” said Guyton. “They don’t know where their meals are coming from. People are getting evicted from their homes because they have to buy food over rent.”

Tenille Townes is already a two-time ACM winner.

She was awarded as the new female vocalist of the year and for participating in the vocal event of the year with Miranda Lambert.

Both awards were announced before the awards show on Wednesday. But she said she’ll never forget how special this year’s show will be.

Courtesy: (AP)

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