The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

A preview of the Academy of Country Music Honors airing Sept. 18

The Hustler previewed the ACM Honors before the show airs on FOX on Sept. 18.
Brett+Young+performs+onstage+during+the+16th+Annual+Academy+of+Country+Music+Honors+at+Ryman+Auditorium+on+Aug.+23%2C+2023+in+Nashville%2C+Tennessee.+%28Photo+by+Jason+Davis%2FGetty+Images+for+ACM%29
Brett Young performs onstage during the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors at Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 23, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for ACM)

Most Vanderbilt students have a first-day-of-class tradition. For some, it might be getting a sweet treat at Jeni’s or having an FDOC photoshoot in front of their Commons House. However, to fully embrace being in Nashville and my love for country music, my FDOC tradition is attending the ACM Honors, which I have been lucky to attend for the past two years.

Held at the historic Ryman Auditorium, the ACM Honors are the Academy of Country Music’s event to honor industry professionals and artists making a significant mark on the genre. This year’s event was the 16th of its type and certainly held up to the standards set by previous years. 

Although award shows aren’t the most commonly watched event within the college student demographic, the show had many memorable moments and heartfelt performances that will capture the heart of any viewer. The taping of the ACM Honors will air on FOX on Sept. 18.

My night at the Ryman began with Hailey Whitters announcing the winners of the ACM Industry Awards and ACM Studio Recording Artist Awards. Both are not officially part of the ACM Honors but are still included in the special night. Whitters announced awards, including Theater of the Year, which went to none other than Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, which she described as the “home of country music.” She continued to announce other awards to honor venues, musicians and other industry professionals.

Hailey Whitters performs onstage during the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors at Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 23, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)

After this portion of the night, Whitters left the stage to allow Carly Pearce to take her place as host for her third year. However, Whitters shortly returned as a performer to grace attendees with her song “Everything She Ain’t.” After Whitters left the stage, Keith Urban and BRELAND continued the night by venturing into the crowd to perform their hit “Throw it Back.”

After their performance ended, Urban presented BRELAND with the first-ever ACM Lift Every Voice Award, an award presented to someone who helps diversify country music by “lifting up” underrepresented individuals. When Urban presented the award, he described what a fantastic artist and person BRELAND was. Urban specifically noted that he “loves it when the good guys win.”

BRELAND accepts the Lift Every Voice Award onstage during the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music Honors at Ryman Auditorium on Aug. 23, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)

The night continued with many other incredible performances, such as Lady A to honor Clint Black (ACM Poet’s Award), Bailey Zimmerman to honor HARDY (ACM Artist-Songwriter of the Year Award) and Trisha Yearwood to honor Mary Chapin Carpenter (ACM Poet’s Award). There were also many outstanding collaborations, such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Travis Denning and FIREROSE joining forces to honor Charlie Daniels (ACM Spirit Award). 

The passionate performances, amazing accomplishments of award winners and sincere acceptance speeches left me feeling inspired and hopeful for the future of country music. Stay tuned for Sept. 18 to watch the show for yourself and enjoy other exclusive performances and special moments.

Leave a comment
About the Contributor
Sara West
Sara West, Deputy Photography Editor
Sara West ('25) is majoring in psychology in the College of Arts and Science and human and organizational development in Peabody College. Sara loves going to concerts, thrifting and exploring new places. She was previously Deputy Photography Director and hopes to enter the music industry after graduating.  She can be reached at [email protected].
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments