Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will unite live onstage in May to co-host the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.
The iconic host pairing marks the first time Brooks will take the stage to host an awards show, fresh off the heels of his world tour, which became the biggest North American tour in history after selling more than 6.3 million tickets, and ahead of his upcoming Las Vegas residency. Meanwhile, Parton will return to the ACM Awards stage for the second consecutive year following last year’s ceremony she co-hosted alongside Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.
“I am thrilled to return to host the ACM Awards, this time with my friend Garth,” Parton, 77, said in a statement. “While I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with him throughout the years, I can’t believe we’ve never had the chance to work together.”
“In addition to getting to see all this great new talent in country music,” she continued, “I am excited to have the chance to premiere the lead single from my upcoming rock album on the show!”
While Parton is set to perform during the awards ceremony in addition to hosting, both her and Brooks, 61, told Billboard that fans shouldn’t expect a musical collaboration from them but, fingers crossed, they’ll surprise us!
Elsewhere while chatting with Billboard at a Nashville production studio where Parton and Brooks were filming promotional video footage for the awards show, they revealed what fans can expect from their pairing.
“All I hope that we do as a pair is represent well,” Brooks told the outlet.
“I mean, you’ve got your foundation and what you’re looking for here,” he continued, gesturing to Parton who was seated next to him. “You’ve got talent and class. Let’s represent country music the best that we can.”
“I told him to say all that, and that I’d say something good about him if he would say something good about me,” Parton joked.
“We are excited about this because we’ve always wanted to do something together,” she continued. “We’ve always admired each other musically and as people and how we handle our business. So this is a great thrill for me. I think the fans are going to enjoy seeing us together, ‘cause Lord knows he’s got fans and I got a few.”
Brooks, who’s won 22 ACM Awards, including a record-setting six entertainer of the year trophies plus ACM’s artist of the decade in the ’90s, said “just getting to work with Dolly” is one of the factors that went into his co-hosting decision.
“When you think about my career, I don’t want to pick favourites, but some of our biggest nights have been at the ACMs. The fact that they would even ask is flattering and the fact that I get to host with Ms. Parton is unbelievable,” he shared before joking that, “The surprise of the night this beautiful woman carry this 260-pound a** all night.”
When it comes to penning the script, the “Ain’t Goin’ Down” singer noted that as host, he will “stay on the class side and let do her thing,” referring to how she’s good at talking off the top of her head.
While he likes “being a goofball,” Brooks explained that he feels “more comfortable” keeping things more serious rather than writing comedy because it “usually isn’t funny.” He also doesn’t want to take a long time announcing the winners because viewers want to “see the performances and hear what the winners have to say.”
“We’ll have a lot of fun together,” Parton chimed in.
While the two gushed over being “a fan” of one another, Parton, who’s earned 13 ACM Awards wins, including entertainer of the year in 1977, added that the fact that they “like each other for real” will “hopefully show up on camera.”
“When you really feel the warmth between two people, I think that’s where the magic is, and I think we both have that in us.”
Last year, the ACM Awards, which is the longest-running country music awards show, made history as the first major awards ceremony to exclusively livestream, in partnership with Prime Video.
This year, “country music’s party of the year” will return exclusively on Prime Video live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Who’s ready to party, party, party?! I’m back again to host the @ACMawards show this year with the one and only @garthbrooks! Tune in May 11 on @PrimeVideo, because it will be a night you won’t want to miss ✨#ACMawards pic.twitter.com/cNv3daOCbz
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 29, 2023
Let’s get this party started!!!!! I’m hosting the @ACMawards show this year with THE @DollyParton! Join us May 11 on @PrimeVideo, we’re bringing all of our friends in low places with us for this one!!!! love, g #ACMawards pic.twitter.com/iR6jpnY46V
— Garth Brooks (@garthbrooks) March 29, 2023
“The ACM Awards is the world’s biggest and most groundbreaking country music awards show… so there is no host pairing more appropriate than music’s most iconic global superstars, Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks,” said Academy of Country Music CEO and ACM Awards executive producer, Damon Whiteside. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring this legendary pair together for the first time ever as ‘Country Music’s Party of the Year’ heads to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters. From exclusive superstar performances to unexpected collaborations to the industry’s most exciting emerging talent, fans are in for an unforgettable night that can only be seen on the ACM Awards stage!”
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon and MGM Studios, is also “elated to have beloved icon Dolly Parton co-host alongside the legendary Garth Brooks.”
“We are thrilled to continue to showcase the power of Amazon to create what will be an unforgettable night of live entertainment experiences with Dolly and Garth,” she said.
The 58th ACM Awards will air exclusively on Prime Video on May 11. The full rebroadcast will stream the next day for free on Amazon Freevee.
In the coming weeks, nominees, performers, and presenters for this year’s show will be announced. Currently, a limited number of tickets still available for purchase on SeatGeek, offering fans exclusive entry into the show.
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