Glitz and country glamour! The Academy of Country Music is heading to Las Vegas for the 2022 ACM Awards — and this year the show is making a big change.
For the first time, the awards ceremony will not air on a major network and will instead stream exclusively on Amazon Prime. The occasion marks the first time a major awards has aired via livestream rather than a traditional TV network.
The 57th edition of the ACM Awards will also make history because of its host, Dolly Parton. The “Jolene” songstress, 76, is the oldest person to emcee the event since the first ceremony was held in 1966. The 9 to 5 actress, who’s won five of her own ACM trophies, previously hosted the awards show in 2000.
The Tennessee native will pull double duty at this year’s ceremony, joining Kelsea Ballerini for a performance of the song “Big Dreams and Faded Jeans.” The track is from Parton’s album Run, Rose, Run, which is a companion piece to the novel she cowrote with James Patterson.
The “Half of My Hometown” singer, 28, collaborated with Parton on the audiobook version of Run, Rose, Run, which debuts on Monday, March 7 — the same day as the ACM Awards. The Steel Magnolias star said she tapped Ballerini to read the role of AnnieLee because she “could bring the right balance of vulnerability, ferocity and sparkling wit to the character.”
The “Peter Pan” songstress, for her part, was thrilled to work with a living legend of country music. “Just a couple of east tennessee girls getting ready to sing together at the @acmawards,” Ballerini wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, March 1, captioning a backstage selfie of herself and Parton at rehearsal.
Kelly Clarkson is also scheduled to pay tribute to the Dollywood founder during the show with a cover of her iconic song “I Will Always Love You.” Parton originally wrote and recorded the tune in 1973, but it became an even bigger hit in 1992 when the late Whitney Houston performed a version for The Bodyguard.
When the Joyful Noise star first heard Houston’s version on the radio, she was so overwhelmed that she had to pull over. “When she went into that, ‘I will always love you’ — oh, it was one of the most overwhelming feelings I’ve ever had in my life,” Parton told Katie Couric in September 2016.
The Sparkle star’s version is arguably more famous than the original, but the song’s writer doesn’t mind. “A lot of people say that’s Whitney’s song, and I always say, ‘That’s fine, she can have the credit, I just want my cash,'” Parton quipped to Couric, 65.
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