Reba McEntire is hosting Thursday’s Academy of Country Music Awards, promising a night of memorable performances, including a tribute to Toby Keith.

When McEntire takes the stage at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, just north of Dallas, it will be a record 17th time she’s emceed the show.

“I love the award show because it’s almost like a family reunion,” she recently told The Associated Press.

This year’s nominees range from veteran acts to new talent, including the much-beloved Jelly Roll. This year marks his first-time receiving ACM nominations; he’s up for entertainer of the year, male artist of the year, single of the year (for “Need a Favor,” which won big at the CMT Music Awards last month), and music event of the year, for “Save Me” featuring Lainey Wilson. The last time a musician was up for entertainer of the year in his first round of ACM awards nominations was Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992.

The ACM festivities actually began ahead of Thursday’s event, when the new artist of the year awards were handed out at Tuesday’s ACM Country Kickoff fan festival at The Star: Megan Moroney took home new female artist of the year, Nate Smith won in the male category and Tigirlily Gold took home to prize for new duo or group.

Here’s what you need to know before the main ACMs attraction begins.

HOW TO WATCH THE ACMs

The 2024 ACM Awards will stream on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch Live at 8 p.m. Eastern. A red carpet feed will become available on Prime Video, the Amazon Music Channel on Twitch and Amazon Live at 7 p.m. Eastern.

THIS YEAR’S ACM AWARDS NOMINEES

Luke Combs leads the 2024 nominations with eight nods. For a fifth year in a row, he’s up for both male artist of the year and entertainer of the year.

Combs’ eight nominations includes a first-time nomination for Tracy Chapman. His cover of her “Fast Car” is up for song of the year, a category that recognizes songwriters and publishers in addition to artists. Last year, Chapman’s 1988 song won song of the year at the Country Music Awards for Combs’ cover, making her the first Black songwriter to win in the category.

Morgan Wallen and Moroney closely follow Combs’ nominations with six each, while Cody Johnson, Chris Stapleton and Wilson are tied with five.

Jordan Davis and Jelly Roll have four nominations.

WHO’S PERFORMING AT THE ACM AWARDS

Jason Aldean will perform the tribute to Keith, who died in February.

“I’ve been a fan of his since the beginning and his songs are some of the first songs I played back in clubs early in my career, including the one I’ll be performing on the show,” he said in a statement. “It means a lot to be able to honor him and properly celebrate his iconic career and legacy. He was one of a kind.”

In addition to Aldean: Kane Brown, Jelly Roll, Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Post Malone, Parker McCollum, Johnson, McEntire, Wilson and Stapleton will also perform during the telecast.

Fans can expect a few interesting collaborations as well — Kelsea Ballerini with Noah Kahan; Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani and Smith with Avril Lavigne.

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Associated Press Writer Gary Hamilton contributed to this report.

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For more coverage of this year’s ACM Awards, visit https://apnews.com/hub/academy-of-country-music-awards



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