Country Stars Who Didn’t Attend The 2023 ACM Awards

(Left) Blake Shelton / YouTube / (Center) CMT / YouTube / (Right) x4tash / YouTube

The 2023 ACM Awards were held on Thursday (May 11) in Texas. Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton were the ceremony’s co-hosts.

Lainey Wilson walked away as one of the night’s biggest winners. She took home four trophies, including the award for Female Artist of the Year.

Chris Stapleton was the last victor of the night, as he was named the ACM’s Entertainer of the Year. The category included seven nominees this year, while it usually only holds five.


Surprisingly, two EOTY nominees did not attend the ceremony. See them and other artists who weren’t at the 2023 ACM Awards below.

Morgan Wallen


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Entertainer of the Year nominee Morgan Wallen originally planned to attend the ACM Awards. He was even supposed to perform!

But days before the ceremony, Wallen said his doctors have advised him to take a six-week vocal rest due to vocal fold trauma. Wallen technically shouldn’t even talk while he’s on vocal rest, but he wanted to record a message to let his fans know what’s going on.

Wallen canceled all of his upcoming appearances in the next six weeks, including his performance at the ACM Awards.

Carrie Underwood


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Carrie Underwood was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the ACM Awards. Like Wallen, she too was absent from the ACM Awards.

Underwood was recently on a vacation in Florida with her sisters-in-law. She wasn’t scheduled to perform at the ACM Awards, so maybe she took the opportunity to take some time off before her REFLECTION residency resumes in Las Vegas next month.

Blake Shelton


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Blake Shelton is a busy fella, so sometimes it’s hard for him to make it to awards ceremonies. He did perform at the CMT Music Awards in April, which is why some fans hoped he’d appear at the ACM Awards this year. But he did not.

Shelton is likely getting ready for the first week of live shows on The Voice. This is Shelton’s final season as a coach on the show, and his team members NOIVAS and Grace West are going into the semi-finals.

Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini / Instagram

Female Artist of the Year nominee Kelsea Ballerini had a good reason to miss the ACM Awards…she had a show that night!

Ballerini explained her absence in a slide on her Instagram Story. She said, “playing a show tonight so won’t be able to make it to the ACM awards.” She shared a photo from her 2022 performance with Dolly Parton and said she was “reminiscing” on the moment.


Luke Bryan


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The American Idol judge was nowhere to be seen at the ACM Awards this year. He wasn’t nominated for any awards and wasn’t scheduled to perform, so that could explain his absence.

Bryan did get the chance to work with one ACM Awards performer on Idol a few days ago…Ed Sheeran!

Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett is usually a fixture at awards shows, especially the ACM Awards. He even tied for Entertainer of the Year with Carrie Underwood in 2020!

But Rhett was missing from this year’s ceremony. His presence (or lack thereof) was recognized by his co-writers on “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” when they won Song of the Year.

Wynonna Judd


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Wynonna Judd has been at a lot of country awards ceremonies as of late. But she was not at the ACM Awards this year.

Judd recently released a documentary on Paramount+ about the past year of her life, which was spent grieving and remembering her mother, Naomi Judd.

Reba McEntire


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Reba McEntire has actually hosted the ACM Awards over a dozen times. She even offered some advice to new host Garth Brooks as he prepared for his hosting duties.

But McEntire didn’t attend the ACM Awards herself this year. She was missed! Watch one of her monolouges from a past ceremony below.

Who did you miss seeing at the ACM Awards this year?

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