“We couldn’t be more excited to bring this legendary pair together for the first time ever as Country Music’s Party of the Year heads to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters,” ACM CEO and ACM Awards executive producer Damon Whiteside told Billboard in a March 2023 statement. “From exclusive superstar performances to unexpected collaborations to the industry’s most exciting emerging talent, fans are in for an unforgettable night that can only be seen on the ACM Awards stage!”
Parton is back to host the Thursday, May 11, event for the second time, while the occasion marks Brooks’ debut as an awards show emcee. While both are relative newbies to the gig, the “Jolene” songstress has won a total of 13 ACMS over the years, while the Oklahoma native has taken home an impressive 22 — six of which were for the night’s biggest award, Entertainer of the Year. (He was also honored as ACM Artist of the Decade for the ‘90s.)
“The fact that they would even ask is flattering and the fact that I get to host with Ms. Parton is unbelievable,” Brooks told Billboard in March 2023. “The surprise of the night is you’re gonna see this beautiful woman carry this 260-pound ass all night.”
When asked why he agreed to host the show, the “Friends in Low Places” artist replied: “Just getting to work with Dolly.”
He continued, “When you think about my career, I don’t want to pick favorites, but some of our biggest nights have been at the ACMs. The fact that they would even ask is flattering and the fact that I get to host with Ms. Parton is unbelievable. The surprise of the night is you’re gonna see this beautiful woman carry this 260-pound ass all night.”
Parton for her part, shared that the pair were just “excited” because they’ve “always” wanted to team up on a project together.
“We’ve always admired each other musically and as people and how we handle our business,” she explained to the outlet. “So this is a great thrill for me. I think the fans are going to enjoy seeing us together, ‘cause Lord knows he’s got fans and I got a few.”
The show will be available to live stream on Amazon Prime Video — something the ACMs implemented last year, making them the first major awards ceremony to air via livestream rather than on a traditional TV network.
While the duo warned that fans shouldn’t expect them to collaborate musically during the ceremony, Parton — who was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in November 2022 — revealed that she would premiere the lead single from her upcoming rock album on the show.
Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about the 2023 ACMs: