ACM Awards Break Silence on Coronavirus Concerns: Exclusive

Keith Urban
John Shearer/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM

Keith Urban accepts the Entertainer of the Year award onstage during the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas.

The show is moving forward April 5 in Las Vegas, with just-announced performers Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert & more.

Despite the ongoing global health crisis which has triggered the collapse of a growing list of major events, the 2020 ACM Awards will go ahead next month with an all-star lineup.

The Academy of Country Music’s annual awards show will be staged April 5 in Las Vegas as planned, with Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert among the first round of performers, Billboard can reveal.

Also performing on the night will be Lindsay Ell, Caylee Hammack, Elle King, Ashley McBryde and Tenille Townes, with more big names to be announced in the weeks ahead.

In a joint statement issued this morning to Billboard, the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions say the health and safety of everyone connected with the show remains their top priority.

“We are closely monitoring the situation along with the MGM team, who are in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Southern Nevada Health District, and other agencies and experts for guidance,” the statement reads. “We will take every precaution to ensure the safety of our artists, staff, crew, guests and attendees.”

It’s the ACM’s first statement on the disease which, according to the World Health Organization, has infected more than 1,000 people in the United States alone, resulting in at least 30 deaths. Global cases have surpassed 115,000.

The U.S. live industry has been hit hard by the epidemic. On Tuesday, Coachella and Stagecoach were rescheduled for October, the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, based in Music City, was postponed to later this year and South by Southwest in Austin was canceled, due to COVID-19 concerns.

As previously reported, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and producer Dann Huff lead the pack for the 55th ACM Awards, with five nominations each. They’re followed by Dan + Shay, Justin Bieber and Blake Shelton with four nominations each.

This year’s ceremony will take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena, with Urban hosting and CBS Television Network broadcasting the show live from 8:00-11:00 PM ET.

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The ACM Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by Valence Media, the parent company of Billboard.