2023 ACM Awards Line-Up Gives Hope For Future Of Country Music

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The line-up for the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards was announced in late April, and it’s restored some of my faith in the country music industry.

The 58th annual ACM Awards are set to hit our screens on May 11, coming to us live from Frisco, Texas, according to Variety, and the line-up looks pretty phenomenal. While I’m sure older and more classic country music fans may be turned off by this year’s performers, us young folks (yes, I still count as young) are in for a freaking treat.

The biggest name in the line-up is Dolly Parton, duh. As the absolute godmother of country, if  Parton’s performance is anything like her show at Glastonbury 2014, it’ll be epic. So famous is Parton, that her work is as mainstream in the UK as it is here in the U.S., but the same can’t be said for many of the other performers.

Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Jo Dee Messina, Ashley McBryde, Cole Swindell, Keith Urban, Jelly Roll, The War and Treaty and Lainy Wilson are definitely not household names over the pond, but they define the modern country music culture here in the greatest country on Earth.

But there are two performers who will absolutely kill it at the show: Morgan Wallen and Bailey Zimmerman. (RELATED: Diddy Comes To Defense Of Morgan Wallen After Country Superstar Used Racial Slur)

Wallen is up for a handful of awards this year, which is to be expected. He’s literally the biggest thing in music right now, let alone country. And Zimmerman just landed his first nomination for “New Male Artist of the Year,” according to Billboard.

The ACM Awards have really outdone themselves with not just some of the best singers, but some of the best songwriters in country. It doesn’t matter how you feel about each individual artist — you can’t deny their talent.

The only downside is the obvious snub of John Rich, arguably one of the most important people in country music today. Sure, his work isn’t as mainstream-ish as the rest of the artists, but he’s definitely got just as much, if not more eyes on him than them.

My hope is that by this time next year, the ACM Awards and others will put politics aside and respect the best, most popular, and most talented people in the room.