Hardy, Lainey Wilson among early 58th ACM Awards winners

Show streams on Prime Video on May 11th

The Academy of Country Music’s ACM Awards week kicked into high gear on Wednesday (May 10th) as the powerhouse trade association held numerous major events across north Texas, leading into the 58th ACM Awards taking place tonight (Thurs, May 11th) at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. ACM Songs and Stories Powered by The Bluebird Cafe and NSAI brought four of the ACM Songwriter of the Year nominees to the new Omni PGA Frisco Hotel for an intimate celebration featuring acoustic performances of many of the year’s biggest hits paired with the tales behind the chart-topping records. Hosted by beloved actor and singer-songwriter Charles Esten (Nashville, Outer Banks), the brunch featured Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley, Chase McGill, and Hunter Phelps performing some of their top hits for an enthusiastic crowd. After the show, Esten surprised Gorley with his first ACM Award for ACM Songwriter of the Year.

Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, north Texas Country Music fans were able to enjoy live performances from ACM Award nominees and exciting up-and-coming artists as they took the stage at the ACM Country Kickoff at The Star free fan festival, surrounded by food trucks, photo activations, brand pop-ups, exclusive merch shops, and more. Artists included ACM New Male Artist of the Year nominees Dylan Scott and Nate Smith; ACM New Female Artist of the Year nominee Caitlyn Smith; ACM Music Event of the Year nominee MacKenzie Porter, who surprised the crowd with a special appearance by her chart-topping duet partner Dustin Lynch; as well as Chayce Beckham, Chapel Hart, Hannah Ellis, Tiera Kennedy, Catie Offerman, Josh Ross, and MaRynn Taylor. Also pumping the crowd up in their iconic fashion were the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who kicked off day two of the open-to-the-public country music celebration, held at Tostitos Championship Plaza at the Star, right in front of Ford Center.

Topgolf The Colony was taken over by ACM Lifting Lives to host its all-star Tee-Off and Rock On golf tournament, always an industry favorite of ACM Awards week, as well as the ACM Lifting Lives live benefit concert, which featured live performances from ACM Award nominees Bailey Zimmerman, Ernest, Lainey Wilson, Jason Aldean, and Hardy in front of a packed crowd out on the golf green and was hosted by SiriusXM The Highway’s Storme Warren, all to raise money for ACM Lifting Lives’ vital work to improve lives through the power of music. As the sun set, Ashley Gorley, who was awarded ACM Songwriter of the Year earlier in the day, surprised Hardy with the ACM Award for Artist-Songwriter of the Year. After the show was over, Hardy and Lainey Wilson were surprised by Warren with the news that they had won the award for ACM Visual Media of the Year for their music video for wait in the truck.

Rehearsals for the 58th ACM Awards also took place on Tuesday with performers including Jason Aldean; Kane Brown; Jordan Davis; Jelly Roll; Cody Johnson; Ashley McBryde featuring Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti, and John Osborne; Cole Swindell and Jo Dee Messina; and Lainey Wilson, taking the stage in preparation for the globally livestreaming show on Thursday night. Many of those performers, as well as artists participating in the ACM Country Kickoff, also took part in ACM Awards Media Row, speaking with top country radio stations, syndicated shows, and groups from across the US, including a number of ACM Radio Awards winners.

It all leads up to the 58th ACM Awards, co-hosted by global superstars Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, which will take place at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on Thursday, May 11th at Ford Center at The Star and will be free to stream live for a global audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch. The full rebroadcast will stream the next day for free on Amazon Freevee. Dubbed ​​“Country Music’s Party of the Year,” the 2023 edition will mark Parton’s second consecutive appearance as host, with Brooks taking the stage to host a major awards show for the first time.

In addition to the events throughout the week of the ACM Awards, Dolly Parton will have an exclusive, limited-run pop-up store, Dolly! All Access, during ACM Awards Week through May 14th at The Star in Frisco, Texas. For the first time, global superstar Dolly Parton is bringing her brand partners together for a custom, curated shopping experience.


Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com