Swift will sing from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House, one of three iconic Nashville venues (the other two being the Ryman and Bluebird Cafe) being used as a home base for the ACMs this year.
Swift made the announcement on her social media accounts concurrent with a promotional spot that appeared on ACMs host network CBS during an NFL broadcast Sunday. “Bout to show up at your party @acmawards,” she wrote on her Instagram Story.
The last time Swift sang on a country show, she had not yet officially announced her transition to “picking a lane” and being a pop performer, as she did with the release of the “1989” album in 2014. When she last she performed on the ACMs in 2013, it was as a guest star on Tim McGraw’s rendition of his hit “Highway Don’t Care,” along with Keith Urban. The year 2013 also marked the last time she performed on the CMA Awards, when she sang her then-current “Red” in a stripped-down setting with the help of Vince Gill and Alison Krauss.
Starting with “1989,” none of Swift’s music has been pushed to country radio, although little of it would have been suitable for the format shy of a remix, which she declined to allow. However, “Betty,” which harks back in its sound to early hits like “Love Story,” has gotten an official release to the country format. It didn’t get a remix for country radio, but the otherwise sweet song did get a lyrical substitution, for its most tart line — from “Would you tell me to go f— myself” to “Would you tell me to go straight to hell” — that presumably will be the version performed on the ACMs.
Swift has returned to the country shows as a presenter or winner in singular appearances in intervening years. In 2015, she came back to the ACMs to receive a Milestone Award. In 2016, she made a return visit to the CMAs to present the entertainer of the year award.
Swift’s Milestone Award from the ACMs five years ago capped a run of nine awards she received from the org during her run as a core country artist, including receiving the entertainer of the year accolade twice.
The ACM Awards will be broadcast on CBS Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 CT. Other performers include Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini and host Keith Urban.
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