After two years of socially-distanced and remote performances and presentations, the ACM Awards were back to business as usual for the 57th annual awards show. Dozens of Music City’s biggest stars gathered in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium for the show that had a live audience for the first time since 2019.
To energy of the event was palpable, even for those watching as it live streamed on Amazon Prime for the first time ever. To add to the excitement, Dolly Parton returned as ACM Awards host after a 22 year hiatus. She was joined by last years’ New Male and Female Artists of the Year, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett, as co-hosts.
Dolly kicked off the show in true Dolly style…with lots of sparkle and shine. The singer’s opening monologue had little bits of humor thrown in with one liners like “[Gabby and Jimmie] are the real deal. You know how I hate anything fake.” Dolly added that she likes to laugh and joke and promised a good time before saying, “I do want us, before we get started with all our fun, to take a serious moment. “I don’t want to be political, and this is not. I’d rather pass a kidney stone than do that,” Dolly said.
“But, I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. So, why don’t we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy ol’ world,” Dolly said before introducing the opening performance from her co-hosts.
Allen and Barrett kicked off the live show with two songs each. Jimmie Allen performed a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” followed by Barrett performing Faith Hill’s “Let’s Go to Vegas.”
Watch Dolly’s opening monologue below.
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