Performances From George Strait, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Charles Esten, Thomas Rhett & More Highlight ACM Honors Ceremony [Watch]

Performances From George Strait, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Charles Esten, Thomas Rhett & More Highlight ACM Honors Ceremony [Watch]

The star-studded 11th annual ACM Honors ceremony took place last night (Aug. 23) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

In addition to performances from George Strait, Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini, Toby Keith, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Charles Esten and Hillary Scott, the Academy recognized the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 52nd ACM Awards.

Special Award recipients included Kelsea Ballerini (Gene Weed Milestone Award), Toby Keith (Poet’s Award), Bob Kingsley (Mae Boren Axton Service Award), Reba McEntire (Mae Boren Axton Service Award), Nashville (Tex Ritter Film Award), Dolly Parton (Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award), Shel Silverstein (Poet’s Award), George Strait (Cliffie Stone Icon Award) and Songwriter of the Year Lori McKenna. The evening also honored the winners of the Industry and Studio Recording Awards.

Performance highlights of the evening included:

  • Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott teamed with Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman to sing “Little Rock” in tribute to Reba McEntire.
  • Kelsea Ballerini sang “Legends” before receiving her award, which was presented to her by Lady Antebellum.
  • Chris Janson performed “A Boy Named Sue” and “Cover of the Rolling Stone” in tribute to Shel Silverstein, who received his award posthumously.
  • Toby Keith performed “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “Who’s Your Daddy?” after songwriter Jimmy Webb presented him with his award.
  • Maren Morris performed “Galveston” in tribute to the late Glen Campbell.
  • Thomas Rhett sang a medley of his hits “Die A Happy Man” and “Craving You.
  • Brad Paisley performed “My Tennessee Mountain Home” in tribute to Dolly Parton.
  • Nashville stars Charles Esten and Clare Bowen performed “Sanctuary” after their CMT drama was recognized with the Tex Ritter Film Award.
  • Little Big Town performed “When Someone Stops Loving You,” which was co-written by Lori McKenna, before presenting Lori with her Songwriter of the Year award.
  • Chris Stapleton performed “When Did You Stop Loving Me,” and Alan Jackson performed a medley of “Marina Del Rey” and “The Fireman” in tribute to George Strait.
  • George Strait performed “Here For a Good Time” to close out the evening.

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Lady Antebellum will be the musical guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Sept. 19. Tune in to NBC at 11:35 p.m. CT.