“Hi! This is Carrie Underwood,” the hitmaker tells Ashley McBryde by phone as the newcomer enjoys a drink by a barn in a new clip. “I wish I was there to give this news to you in person…You, Miss, are the ACM New Female Artist of the Year!”
Underwood also calls Luke Combs and LANCO, to reveal that they had won New Male Artist of the Year and New Vocal Group of the Year.
Afterward, the group breaks into cheers, McBryde joyously tosses her drink and Combs goes back to making a Toaster Strudel, happily baffled by the news.
But, these are just a small portion of the prizes that will be handed out in April when Reba McEntire hosts the prestigious awards show from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everyone from Taylor Swift to Dan + Shay to Kacey Musgraves is up for trophies in key categories.
“He told me to care about the fans. And he said, ‘Listen, we’re out here doing it for these people so we cater our show to them, we cater meet-and-greets to them, and the music for them. Because without them, you know, there is no show and there’s no reason for us to play if nobody’s gonna come. And so I’ve really tried to take that to heart.”
And prior to the 2018 Stagecoach Music Festival, McBryde chatted with ET about the tremendous “rite of passage” that the event represents for her and some priceless words of wisdom she also received from an artist she admires — Miranda Lambert.
"When I first started hearing about meet and greets, at the time we weren't offering any because I didn't know we needed to," she admitted. "I was talking to Miranda Lambert and I said, 'They think I'm famous and I'm just not. Not enough for a meet-and-greet.' She said, 'They think you're famous?' I said, 'Yeah.' 'And you think you're not?' I said, 'Right.' She said, 'Which one of you is right?'I was like, ‘Whoa!’ That was poetry and it blew my mind!"
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Carrie Underwood Gives Birth to Son Jacob Brian Fisher
In 2017, after LANCO’s lead singer, Brandon Lancaster, married his college sweetheart, Tiffany Trotter, the frontman discussed their hit single, “Greatest Love Story,” becoming a staple at numerous fans’ proposals and weddings.
"As a songwriter, as a musician, you always dream of your songs being a part of people's lives," Brandon explained to ET. "Music is kinda the soundtrack to our life -- happy times and sad times, maybe a Friday night anthem -- but this one is cool because not only are you now the soundtrack to someone's life, but you're part of their story that they're gonna have forever. It's been a really special thing."
However, their own track wasn’t featured at the reception. They looked to artists like Tim McGraw and Ray LaMontagne to make their night extra special.
The 54th Academy of Country Music Awards airs on Sunday, April 7 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.