The Academy of Country Music Awards will welcome back Taylor Swift for the first time in seven years on Wednesday. Swift is set to perform her song "Betty" from her new album Folklore at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The legendary venue is one of three being used for the awards this year, alongside the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe.
Swift shared the news herself on Sunday with a teaser, which also aired during CBS' NFL broadcast. This will be the first live performance of any song from Folklore for Swift. She won the ACM Entertainer of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012 and the 50th Anniversary Milestone Award in 2015. Her other ACM wins are for New Female Vocalist of the Year in 2009; Album of the Year for Fearless and the Crystal Milestone Award in 2009; Jim Reeves International Award in 2011; and Video of the Year for "Highway Don't Care" in 2014.
The 55th Academy of County Music Awards will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday with Keith Urban hosting. Other performers include Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Riley Green, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi, Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani, Tenille Townes, Carrie Underwood, Morgan Wallen, and Trisha Yearwood. This year's Entertainer of the Year nominees are Bryan, Church, Combs, Thomas Rhett, and Underwood.
The three venues will help organizers spread out the event during the coronavirus pandemic. ACM CEO Damon Whiteside told Entertainment Tonight each venue's stage will pay tribute to the history of the venues. Whiteside also noted there would likely not be an audience. "Overall though, it's going to be just a really bright, colorful, fun show," he said. "There's going to be poignant moments. There's just going to be a really big nod to the history of country music and also just celebrating so many legends from our industry. So, it's got a really good mix, I think, of sort of I'd say, the past, present and future of country music."
Most of the show will be live, and there will be references to the ongoing protests against social injustice. Whiteside predicted that Mickey Guyton's performance will be a stand-out moment in the show. "[We] certainly also want to show some of the great African American artists that we have, and [who] have had a lot of success in our industry this past year," he told ET. "So, this to me is exciting because America is going to discover Mickey Guyton that night if they don't know her, and she is going to blow everybody away with her voice and her talent and songwriting abilities. And I am just so excited to see that, and I think it's going to be one of the most talked-about moments in the show that night."