The Band Perry will open Sunday's ACM Awards, Shakira and Blake Shelton will perform "Medicine," and George Strait will make an announcement about the show's 50th anniversary celebration on the CBS telecast from Las Vegas.
Executive producer R.A. Clark said the Shakira-Shelton duet came from "Shakira's folks reaching out to us, saying, 'We have this opportunity, and would you be interested?' As producers we're always looking for these moments when we can bring folks together. We think it's great for the show."
"Medicine," which will debut this week on the Country Airplay chart this week at No. 57, appears on Shakira's self-tiled album that was released March 25 and is expected to debut in the top five of this week's Billboard 200. Shakira and Shelton are coaches on "The Voice" at NBC.
In other ACM news, Academy of Country Music CEO Bob Romeo addressed the kerfuffle over eligibility for the Best New Artist award, saying they will revisit the title of the award.
"A lot of people don't know who Kip Moore, Justin Moore or Brett Eldredge, are so we don't know how to define 'new'," Romeo said on a conference call with executives from CBS, the ACM awards, and show producer Dick Clark Productions. "We'll look at [changing the title to] an emerging artist award. A lot of artists have been out there who haven't achieved initial success and that line [between what's new and what isn't] has become grayer for us. We did alter the criteria [this year]."
Garth Brooks, George Strait and Miranda Lambert will participate in the presentation of the Crystal Award to Merle Haggard, who was named best new artist 50 years ago. The show will again air from two locations, with Florida Georgia Line holding down the fort at Mandalay Bay and returning hosts Shelton and Luke Bryan at Las Vegas.
Fan voting has been opened in Australia for the first time, and in Canada for the second year. Voting, which runs more than two hours into the show, is tracking about 120,000 votes ahead of last year.