The 2023 ACM Awards featured some of the biggest stars in country descending upon the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, on Thursday (May 11) to honor achievements in the genre and showcasing talent in a series of performances.
Dolly Parton played a large part in the night’s success, as she co-hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards with Garth Brooks, and took to the stage for a debut performance of “World on Fire.” Serving as the first taste of her forthcoming rock n’ roll album Rockstar — which is set to be released in November — Parton took to the stage in a billowing skirt with a map of the world on it, and was later joined by dancers who performed high-energy choreography in front of controlled flames.
Ed Sheeran, fresh off the release of his fifth studio album Subtract, also gave a stunning performance of of “Life Goes On” consisting of just him with his acoustic guitar — that is, until Luke Combs provided a surprise assist for the second verse of the track. (Combs performed “Love You Anyway” solo earlier in the night).
Lainey Wilson and Jelly Roll teamed up to perform “Save Me,” while Cody Johnson, joined by his band, gave a twangy performance of “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys,” and Jason Aldean took to the ACM stage for his song “Tough Crowd,” which, contrary to its title, won over the audience.
Revisit some of performances at the 2023 ACM awards and vote for your favorite in the poll below.
The ACM Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions. DCP is owned by Penske Media Eldridge, a Penske Media Corporation (PMC) subsidiary and joint venture between PMC and Eldridge. PMC is the parent company of Billboard.