For a pair of burgeoning country hitmakers, this year's ACM Awards party kicked off a few days early.
The annual Academy of Country Music Awards gave fast-rising "Things A Man Oughta Know" singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson and "Gold Chain Cowboy" Parker McCollum reason to celebrate Friday morning; the artists earned 2022 New Female and New Male Artist of the Year, respectively, according to the ACM Awards.
The 57th annual ACM Awards returns Monday to Las Vegas for a two-hour commercial-free livestream on Amazon Prime Video. Show organizers traditionally unveil New Artist categories days ahead of the annual show.
Country megastar Miranda Lambert surprised Wilson and McCollum with the awards via video conference.
"Holy s***," a tearful Wilson said in the video, adding to Lambert: "I just want to say thank you for paving the damn way."
McCollum's jaw dropped when Lambert crashed his call.
"Are you serious?" McCollum said. "I'm getting blurry vision right now. Are you dead serious? I won? ... Oh my goodness."
Wilson, a small-town Louisiana native signed to Nashville label BBR Music Group, earns her first major award a year after releasing "Sayin' What I'm Thinkin'," a standout debut album that introduced her fire-spitting brand of country storytelling. "Things A Man Oughta Know," her breakout single, topped country radio charts last fall.
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McCollum, a Texas country artist, scores his New Male Artist of the Year honor after logging years on stage and in studio sessions as an independent artist. In 2019, he inked a major label deal to Universal Music Nashville, climbing country charts with his 2020 single "Pretty Heart." He released his major label full-length debut, "Gold Chain Cowboy," last summer.
Set for Las Vegas' massive Allegiant Stadium, Dolly Parton co-hosts the ACM Awards next week alongside newcomers Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.
Show producers announced Friday that country trio Lady A joins the show lineup and 2020 New Female Artist of the Year winner Tenille Townes performs as part of the red carpet pre-show event on Prime Video. The confirmed ACM Awards performance lineup includes Parton with Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Maren Morris, Walker Hayes and more.
A handful of presenters — confirmed Friday via news release — include Las Vegas Radiers quarterback Derek Carr, best-selling author James Patterson, country trailblazer Mickey Guyton, and "Yellowstone" actors Kelsey Asbille and Luke Grimes, among others.
The 57th annual ACM Awards kick off Monday at 7 p.m. CST via Prime Video.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: ACM Awards: Lainey Wilson, Parker McCollum win New Artists of the Year