The stage is set in Las Vegas as country music’s biggest names get ready for Sunday’s academy of country music awards.
Country legend Reba McEntire returns as show host for the 16th time.
“For them to ask me to come back and host again and for being nominated then also winning 16 times at the acms. How could you feel anything but really good?” McEntire said.
This year – duo Dan and Shay – and Chris Stapleton have the most nominations — with six each.
Kacey Musgraves follows with five nominations — including album, single and female artist of the year. But for the second year in a row no female artists are nominated for ‘Entertainer Of The Year.’
Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban are up for that honor.
“I’ve argued that the criteria for entertainer of the year needs to change,” Variety Magazine music writer Chris Willman said. Willman says many fans may not realize the category is primarily judged by arena ticket sales a concert venue that – in country music – is typically dominated by men.
“Meanwhile you’ve got people like Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris who are media darlings, actually getting some radio play… you can’t escape them… but they have no chance of being nominated for entertainer of the year because they’re not arena headliners yet,” Willman said.
This year’s show promises some big performances, including Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
Reba will also perform a song from her new album.