Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 | 10:56 a.m.
The sexy sparkle being added to tonight’s Fox telecast of the 2013 American Country Awards from Mandalay Bay Events Center will be thanks to several of our “Jubilee!” showgirls from Bally’s on the Strip. The stunning bejeweled and feather-bedecked showgirls join co-hosts Trace Adkins and Danica Patrick onstage for a performance.
Laughed Trace: “I can’t wait to see if I have what it takes to keep up with a racing superstar.” It’s the fourth time he’s hosted the fourth-annual awards.
LeAnn Rimes, Justin Moore, Randy Houser and Thomas Rhett were the final acts signed over the weekend to perform on the two-hour country spectacular. It also will feature appearances by Luke Bryan, Jewel, Dwight Yoakam, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen and Kellie Pickler, while Sheryl Crow will sing with Darius Rucker.
Rodeo cowboy world champion Trevor Brazile will be a presenter before racing back to the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV for Round 6 of the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Olivia Newton-John, who is expected to sign a new Strip residency starting in March at the Flamingo in Donny & Marie’s Showroom when they are on hiatus, makes her first official Las Vegas appearance as a presenter.
Other presenters include Sara Evans, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Cowboy Troy, Dan King, Scotty McCreery, Matthew Morrison, Thompson Square, Chris Young, Carrie Keagan, Joe Nichols, Lauren Alaina, Clay Walker and Parmalee.
Country music fans got the opportunity to vote right up until the weekend for their favorite artists, not only in traditional categories, but also in a previously unrecognized area — touring — to encompass the entire spectrum of country music.
It will be a big night for LeAnn, who has sold more than 40 million albums and won two Grammy Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards. As the youngest recipient of a Grammy, she has placed 42 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 13 of which were Top 10 hits.
Who did she check in with on arrival for her glamorous hair and makeup look before rehearsals? None other than my pal Michael Boychuck at his salon Color in Caesars Palace, and his stylists will be there again before tonight’s curtain up.
Lady Antebellum has won seven American Country Awards, making them the most award-winning group. They also have won Vocal Group of the Year from the CMA and ACM awards show three consecutive times. Tonight’s appearance promotes their newly released single “Compass” as they get ready for their new North American headlining tour “Take Me Downtown” kicking off Jan. 10.
Country superstar and 2010, 2011 and 2012 ACA winner Brad Paisley will receive the Video Visionary Award during the show; he also will perform his new single, “The Mona Lisa.” The award is in recognition of his nearly 15 years pairing amazing songs with creative, entertaining music videos that have run the gamut, from heartbreaking to hilarious. The Video Visionary Award has been awarded only one other time, to Toby Keith, in 2010.
Going into tonight’s show, Taylor Swift leads with eight nominations, and Florida Georgia Line and Blake Shelton each have seven nods.
Here are the nominees in key categories:
Artist of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift
Artist of the Year: Male: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church and Blake Shelton
Artist of the Year: Female: Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood
Artist of the Year: Duo or Group: Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band
Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist: Lee Brice, Hunter Hayes, Randy Houser, Scotty McCreery and Justin Moore
Artist of the Year: New Artist: Florida Georgia Line, Kip Moore , Kacey Musgraves, Cassadee Pope and Thomas Rhett
Album of the Year: “Night Train,” Jason Aldean; “Here’s to the Good Times,” Florida Georgia Line; ”Two Lanes of Freedom,” Tim McGraw ; “Based on a True Story...,” Blake Shelton; and “Pioneer,” The Band Perry
Single of the Year: “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line; “How Country Feels,” Randy Houser; “Beer Money,” Kip Moore; “Better Dig Two,” The Band Perry; and “One of Those Nights,” Tim McGraw
Single of the Year: Male: “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” Gary Allen; “One of Those Nights,” Tim McGraw; “The One That Got Away,” Jake Owen; ”Wagon Wheel,” Darius Rucker; and “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” Blake Shelton
Single of the Year: Female: “Easy,” Sheryl Crow ; “American Heart,” Faith Hill; “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert; “Begin Again,” Taylor Swift ; and “Two Black Cadillacs,” Carrie Underwood
Single of the Year: Duo/Group: “Downtown,” Lady Antebellum; “Tornado,” Little Big Town; “Better Dig Two,” The Band Perry; “If I Didn’t Have You,” Thompson Square; and ”Goodbye in Her Eyes,” Zac Brown Band
Single of the Year: Vocal Collaboration: “The Only Way I Know,” Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church; “Don’t Rush,” Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill; “Highway Don’t Care,” Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban; and “Boys ’Round Here,” Blake Shelton with Pistol Annies
Touring Artist of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band
Great American Country Music Video of the Year: “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line; “Tornado,” Little Big Town; “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” Blake Shelton; “Begin Again,” Taylor Swift; and ”Better Dig Two,” The Band Perry
Music Video of the Year: Male: “Take a Little Ride,” Jason Aldean; “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” Gary Allan; “One of Those Nights,” Tim McGraw; “Wagon Wheel,” Darius Rucker; and “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” Blake Shelton
Music Video of the Year: Female: “American Heart,” Faith Hill ; “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert; “Someone Somewhere Tonight,” Kellie Pickler; “Begin Again,” Taylor Swift; and “Blown Away,” Carrie Underwood
We will be reporting live via Twitter @robin_leach from the red carpet and backstage early this evening. Check back Wednesday for our full report with photos.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.