Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Lambert set for ACM Awards

Chris Stapleton dominated at the Grammys and the Country Music Association Awards, but will he repeat at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday?

Yes and no.

Stapleton is the leading nominee with seven, but he’s not up for the top award: entertainer of the year. Instead, he will compete for album, song and male vocalist of the year. He won new male vocalist of the year in an early announcement.

The singer-songwriter has a strong chance to win big at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas after collecting two Grammys in February and three CMAs in November, when he also had a show-stopping and memorable performance alongside Justin Timberlake.

For entertainer of the year, reigning champ Luke Bryan will battle Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert. A win for Lambert would make her the first women to win the honor since Taylor Swift in 2012.

Bryan will also host this year’s awards show with Dierks Bentley, a spot usually reserved for Blake Shelton. The hosts will also perform during the live telecast.

Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw will also hit the stage. Collaborative performances will also take place, including Dolly Parton and Katy Perry; Miranda Lambert with Billy Gibbons and Keith Urban; Little Big Town featuring Trombone Shorty; and Kelsea Ballerini with Nick Jonas.

Cam, who will also perform, is second most nominated act with six thanks to her Grammy-nominated hit “Burning House.” Church is also nominated for six awards and will perform. His surprise album, “Mr. Misunderstood,” is nominated for album of the year along with efforts from Stapleton, Hunt, Thomas Rhett and Chris Young.

Presenters include Kiefer Sutherland, who is working on a country album; British actor Tom Hiddleston, who portrays Hank Williams in biopic, “I Saw the Light”; Miss America Betty Cantrell; and singers Kacey Musgraves, Darius Rucker, Martina McBride and Jake Owen. Additional performers include Stapleton, Aldean, Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Charles Kelley, Cole Swindell and Old Dominion.

The 51st ACM Awards will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern.



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