One for the books! The 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards kicked off on Sunday, April 18, and was full of fun … and drama.
Miranda Lambert and pregnant Elle King opened the show with a bang, performing “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” in heavily fringed biker jackets and glittery pants. Elle, 31, who is expecting baby No. 1 with fiancé Dan Tooker, showed off her baby bump on the socially distanced red carpet.
“Me [and] this baby are ready to open the [ACM Awards] on [CBS] at the Grand Ole [Opry]! With my main squeeze [Miranda Lambert] (she’s drinkin’ [for] 2 cuz I’m pregnant). Good luck to all nominees!” the “Ex’s and Oh’s” singer wrote via Instagram ahead of the festivities.
Unfortunately, the ceremony didn’t come without a hiccup. Dan + Shay performed their latest single “Glad You Exist” at the Bluebird Cafe, but they encountered technical difficulties. While Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney sat in the iconic Nashville spot and sang their upbeat love song, it was evident the sound was about three seconds off of the visuals.
The duo took to Twitter after the performance to react to the faux pas. “Apparently there was an audio/video sync issue on the television broadcast,” they wrote. “We’re bummed about it, but it happens, especially when performances are happening in multiple locations. Kudos to the @ACMawards for pulling off a great show.”
The 56th annual awards show, hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, featured performances from other stars as well including Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, Maren Morris and more chart-topping artists. The night was full of sweet and shocking moments, and a few that felt something close to normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, Luke Bryan, who was set to perform, won Entertainer of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year, had to sit out the event. On Monday, April 12, the “Play It Again” singer revealed he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’m sad to say I won’t be a part of tonight’s first live [American Idol] show,” the 44-year-old judge tweeted shortly before Paula Abdul announced her return. “I tested positive for COVID, but I’m doing well and look forward to being back at it soon.”
One day later, a press release finalizing the awards show‘s performance lineup did not include Luke’s name among the list of performers, and a representative for the singer confirmed the news to Taste of Country. Lady A, who had not been announced as a performer, was added to the lineup.
Keep scrolling to see all the biggest moments you may have missed on country music’s biggest night.
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