By Annie Reuter
For the first time in 10 years, the annual ACM Honors will be televised. The Academy of Country Music hosted the 10th Annual ACM Honors last month at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and tonight (September 9), country fans can watch the two-hour special on CBS at 9pm ET/PT.
The evening celebrates the off-camera category winners from the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards with awards and special performances. Here are five moments you don’t want to miss:
1. Cam and Alicia Keys Covering Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush”
Cam and Alicia Keys teamed up to pay tribute to Little Big Town who were being honored with the Crystal Milestone Award. While Keys sat at the piano, Cam stood beside her for one of the most moving performances of the night. The two vocalists exchanged verses on Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and had all at the Ryman Auditorium mesmerized. Even Little Big Town were in awe of how Cam and Keys transformed their song on the famed stage. “I don’t think I want to sing that song again,” the quartet’s Jimi Westbrook said upon receiving their award.
2. Miranda Lambert Covering Merle Haggard’s “Misery and Gin”
Miranda Lambert was honored with the inaugural ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award and fittingly performed a rousing rendition of the late singer’s “Misery and Gin.” Lambert didn’t shy away from her love of the Hag or the country genre either. “I feel so blessed for country music more and more every single time one of these moments happen to me,” she said upon accepting her award. “I feel so blessed to be a part of country music.”
3. Glen Campbell Tribute featuring Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban and Toby Keith
Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley performed a memorable medley honoring Glen Campbell. The medley of Campbell’s hits included each artist singing a portion of “Southern Nights,” “Gentle on My Mind,” “Witchita Lineman” and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” by themselves before the four vocalists joined forces for an epic cover of “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
4. Kelsea Ballerini Covering Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”
Kelsea Ballerini covered “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” in tribute to Crystal Gayle who was being honored with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. So impressed by Ballerini’s take on her hit, Gayle joked after the performance, “I don’t think I’m gonna sing that song anymore. That was so beautiful, Kelsea!”
5. Chris Young and Dan + Shay Covering The Stalter Brothers’ “Flowers On The Wall”
Chris Young and Dan + Shay teamed up for an impressive performance of “Flowers on the Wall” in tribute to The Statler Brothers who were also being honored with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. While Young is highly regarded as one of the best male vocalists in the genre, his performance coupled with Dan + Shay’s harmonies was a moment that will surely leave a lasting mark.