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ACM Awards: Best Moments in Show’s History | Billboard News

The 53rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards are finally upon us. But before we get to soak in Carrie Underwood’s big return to the stage, and enjoy other anticipated moments during the live telecast this Sunday on CBS, we’re taking a trip down memory lane through the five-decades-plus that the ACMs have been a part of our lives. Let’s take a look back at five of the biggest and best moments in the awards show’s history. Let’s kick off with Ms. Underwood herself. Who can forget her epic and electrifying collaboration with Steven Tyler in 2011? The dynamic duo lit up the stage, belting out Aerosmith’s classic “Walk This Way.” I mean…Carrie Underwood with hot pink highlights belting out “walk this waaay?” No? OK. Moving on. In 2010, we all basked in the knowledge that Lady Antebellum had arrived. They had just released their anthem “Need You Now,” before they debuted their follow-up, “American Honey,” during that year’s broadcast. It might not have been their biggest hit single to date, but with that smooth performance you could tell the group was enjoying the spotlight for all it was worth. Next, we go ALL the way back to 1984 for Ray Charles and George Jones’ collaboration. After the R&B crooner admitted that his favorite singer and song of all time was Jones’ “A Girl I Used To Know,” the two recorded “We Didn’t See A Thing” for Charles’ album ‘Friendship’ in 1983. The two music greats then came together to perform the catchy track during the 1984 ACMs — the result? Pure magic. Alabama gave ACM viewers many moments to remember during the 1980s and 1990s, but their retirement in 2003 left a void in the country music world. Enter Brad Paisley, who wrote “Old Alabama,” a tribute to the band that became one of the most anticipated moments of the 2010 show.  The legendary group even hit the stage midway through the performance for an unexpected and show-stopping collaboration. And finally, where else could we end but with Taylor Swift meeting Tim McGraw? In 2007, Taylor was a fresh face on the country scene, and earned a prime slot during the ACM Awards to perform her debut single “Tim McGraw.” But she also found the REAL McGraw sitting nearby, reached out her hand, and said the magic words: “Hi, I’m Taylor.” It was a touching moment, and voila! We had America’s newest sweetheart. For many more of the best all-time ACM moments, head to, and stick with us throughout the show Sunday night for full coverage of awards. Until next time for Billboard News, I’m Neha Joy.

Cesar Sullivan

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