ACM Awards Throwback: Peek Behind the Scenes at the Awards Show in the ‘90s
The 2021 ACM Awards are just a few days away, and ahead of one of the year's most exciting nights in country music, The Boot is taking a look back at the show's history. Want to see what the ACMs looked like in the 1990s? Read on!
The ACM Awards first launched in 1966, honoring some of the biggest names in country music, albeit at a more humble affair than what's on TV now. For years, the show took place in either Los Angeles or Buena Park, Calif., rather than its more recent home, Las Vegas, Nev.
The list of honors at those first ACM Awards was smaller, too: The show started off with only a few core categories, for the year's top male, female, duo and band, as well as new artists. From there, the categories expanded to include Album of the Year and Single of the Year. Song of the Year and Entertainer of the Year didn't arrive on the list until 1971 -- and country music fans weren't able to tune into the show on TV until 1972!
What started off as a casual awards show has turned into full-blown night of glamour and sophistication -- but even as recently as the 1990s, the proceedings looked a whole lot different. Scroll through the photo gallery to see how the ACM Awards, and the country music stars that attend, have evolved over the years:
After relocating from Las Vegas to Nashville in 2020 out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACM Awards are back in Music City in 2021. As showrunners did last year, they're spreading this year's event out across iconic venues (the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe), though a few performances will take place elsewhere. They'll be following national, state and local guidelines related to the pandemic, as well as additional, self-imposed safety measures.
The 2021 ACM Awards are set for Sunday (April 18). They'll begin at 8PM ET and will air live on CBS and be available to stream on Paramount+; sign up for the streaming service here.
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