Blake Shelton, Lionel Richie Among Duet Performances on ACM Awards, 4/1

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Kenny Chesney and Tim McGRaw, Blake Shelton and Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts and Steve Martin, and Toby Keith with surprise Las Vegas guest performers are set to perform a variety of special duets and collaborations on the 47th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 1 (8:00-11:00 PM live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Pat Monahan, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Chris Young, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts have previously been announced as performers on the broadcast.

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGRaw

Kenny Chesney is nominated for nine awards including Entertainer of the Year, a category he has won four times since 2004. He is nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, a category he has been nominated in 10 times previously. He is twice nominated for Album of the Year for Hemingway’s Whiskey, as both artist and producer, and also earned double nominations for Single Record of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year as both artist and producer for “You and Tequila” with Grace Potter. Chesney is also nominated for Song of the Year for “You and Tequila” with Grace Potter. Chesney recently announced a new album which is due in June, a project following his platinum record, Hemingway’s Whiskey.

Tim McGRaw has won 14 ACM Awards and has been honored by the Academy with a Career Achievement Award with Faith Hill in 2006. McGraw has sold more than 40 million units and dominated the charts with 32 #1 singles. With 7.8 million spins at radio, McGraw was deemed “Artist of the Decade” (2000-2010) by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. His 11th studio album, EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart, making it his 13th career #1 debut. McGraw is also an accomplished actor, having starred in films such as the Academy Award-nominated blockbuster “The Blind Side” and the critically acclaimed “Friday Night Lights.” This June, McGraw will kick off what is anticipated to be the biggest stadium tour in country music history with old friend Kenny Chesney.

The “Brothers of the Sun” tourmates will take the ACM Awards stage Sunday night for a very special performance.

Blake Shelton and Lionel Richie, “You Are”

Blake Shelton returns to co-host the ACM Awards broadcast alongside Reba for the second consecutive year. He is nominated for two awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, marking his first nomination in the Entertainer of the Year category. In 2009, Shelton won Vocal Event of the Year for “Hillbilly Bone,” his chart-topping duet with longtime friend Trace Adkins. Straight off five back-to-back #1 hits, his current single “Drink On It” is his fastest-rising single to date and featured on his GRAMMY®-nominated album Red River Blue.

Music icon Lionel Richie has created an unforgettable body of work that speaks to the hearts of people of all races, faiths and ages around the world with his universal themes of life, love and loss presented with poetic simplicity and irresistible melodies. He has earned sales of more than 100 million albums, 22 Top 10 hits, five GRAMMY Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe and a host of other awards from virtually every other major entertainment organization. His catalog of timeless hits includes "Say You, Say Me," "Easy," "Still," "Hello," "Stuck On You," You Are," "My Love" and "Endless Love."

Richie will collaborate with an all-star ensemble for “ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends – In Concert,” the once-in-a-lifetime concert event taping Monday, April 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Shelton and Richie’s performance of Richie’s classic hit “You Are,” a featured duet on Richie’s new album, Tuskegee, will air as part of this special concert, to be broadcast Friday, April 13 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Rascal Flatts and Steve Martin, “Banjo”

Rascal Flatts has won 10 ACM Awards. They are nominated for Vocal Group of the Year, an award they have previously won seven times. In 2007, they were honored with the Academy’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of their commitment to serve others, their generosity of spirit and dedication to helping build the dreams of those in need. The group’s highly anticipated new studio album, CHANGED, is out April 3.

Steve Martin will be on tour this summer with The Steep Canyon Rangers, performing in some of the most prestigious venues and festivals across the country in support of their GRAMMY-nominated album, Rare Bird Alert (Rounder). The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200. Martin is a four-time GRAMMY Award winner, the latest for The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, which won Best Bluegrass Album (2009). He also won for his collaboration with Earl Scruggs on Foggy Mountain Breakdown (2001) and two for the comedy albums Wild and Crazy Guy (1978) and Let’s Get Small (1977). Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers were named “Entertainer of the Year” at the 2011 International Bluegrass Association Awards.

In a unique collaboration with Rascal Flatts, Martin will showcase the banjo during a performance of the band’s new single, “Banjo.”

Toby Keith and special guests, “Red Solo Cup”

Toby Keith is nominated for three awards, including Video of the Year for “Red Solo Cup,” an award which he last won in 2003 for “Beer For My Horses.” He also received a double nomination as artist and producer for Single Record of the Year for “Red Solo Cup.” Keith has won 10 ACM Awards, including two wins for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year.

Keith and special surprise iconic Las Vegas performers will join him for an unforgettable performance of Keith’s chart-topping smash “Red Solo Cup.”

The 47th Academy of Country Music Awards, dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry, is produced for television by Dick Clark productions. Orly Adelson and R.A. Clark are executive producers. Barry Adelman is producer, and Bob Bardo is the executive in charge of production. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

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