Back on March 20, the country music world lost a legend when Kenny Rogers passed away in hospice care at the age of 81. His family said the death was from natural causes, but the singer-songwriter had previously battled bladder cancer.
On Sunday, April 5, in lieu of the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards, which had to be postponed until September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS is broadcasting a virtual concert with the hottest names in country music. Performers include Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani and more, including a tribute to Rogers.
Three of Country Music’s Biggest Stars Will Honor Rogers With a Tribute Performance
According to a release by CBS, the show will “honor 10-time ACM Award winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, and Darius Rucker. As previously announced, artists will appear from their homes to share heartfelt thoughts and perform acoustic versions of country hits. Additionally, video clips from previous ACM Award broadcasts will highlight favorite ACM moments from the past. It will be a night filled with entertainment, hope, and reflection, bringing the healing power of music to Americans at a time when they need it most.”
In an Instagram post when Rogers died, Rucker credited the legend with why Rucker ever got into country music.
“Years ago, I first said that if it wasn’t for Kenny Rogers, I don’t think I would be in country music,” writes Rucker. “He was that guy when I was a kid – his music and ‘Hee Haw’ made me perk my ears up and made me say, ‘What is this? I want to hear more of that.’ He was that catalyst for me to write and create country music. What I said about his inspiration on my music years ago still rings true today. His fingerprints on American music will forever remain. Thank you for the inspiration and for the music. Rest In Peace.”
Other performers include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown and John Legend, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban.
CBS Hopes This Concert Provides Some Comfort to Viewers
“Although the highly anticipated 55th ACM Awards show is unable to take place on April 5 due to the health crisis, we still wanted to deliver fans an entertaining ACM Country Music special as planned,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, in a press release. “We are thrilled to announce ACM Presents: Our Country, an all-new special that allows fans to connect with their favorite country artists and to relive some of the greatest moments of the ACM Awards, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”
“Music has always served as a powerful form of hope and solidarity during challenging times,” said Amy Thurlow, President, dick clark productions. “It’s our privilege to offer audiences an uplifting message through music as well as a look back at some of the best moments in ACM Awards history.”
“Broadcast television and music have always been mediums that bring people together,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “From their living rooms to yours, CBS is pleased to partner with the ACM and dick clark productions to have some of today’s biggest country artists connect with and entertain fans in an intimate way while allowing everyone to stay safe.”
ACM Presents: Our Country airs Sunday, April 5 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.