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(L-R: ACM CEO Damon Whiteside, ACM New Female Artist of the Year Hailey Whitters, and the 2020 ACM New Female Artist of the Year Gabby Barrett)

ACM Country Kickoff takes over The Star, Artists Participate in Media Row, Performers take the Stage for Rehearsals, and ACM New Artist of the Year Winners Announced at Special Celebration Live on Twitch


(L-R: Brendon Anthony, Director, Texas Music Office; Corey Kent, RCA recording artist, ACM Country Kickoff performer, and Frisco, TX resident; Jeff Cheney, Mayor, Frisco, TX; Chuck Aly, Chair, ACM Board of Directors; Damon Whiteside, CEO, ACM; Chad Estis, EVP Business Operations, Dallas Cowboys and Legends)

ACM Country Kickoff Continues Today with Free Fan Festival with Live Music, Food Trucks, a Beer Garden, Exclusive Merch, Photo Activations, and Much More at The Star Leading Up to the ACM Awards


FRISCO, TX (May 10, 2023) -- The Academy of Country Music kicked off ACM Awards week in Frisco, Texas on Tuesday with the first day of the ACM Country Kickoff at The Star free fan festival, including a special opening ceremony with Frisco resident and RCA Country Music recording artist Corey Kent, Academy of Country Music CEO Damon Whiteside, as well as local and state officials and Cowboys representatives. The night concluded with Live From the ACMs: ACM New Artist Winners Celebration where Gabby Barrett, a the 2020 ACM New Female Artist of the Year winner, revealed the ACM New Male Artist of the Year, which was awarded to Zach Bryan, and ACM New Female Artist of the Year, which was presented to Hailey Whitters. Whitters performed for the crowd after accepting her award and will also take the stage at Ford Center Thursday night to perform live on the 58th ACM Awards, marking her win. The celebration aired live on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch, with Country Heat Weekly Podcast hosts Kelly Sutton and Amber Anderson emceeing the event. Two-time ACM Award winner and 2019 ACM New Female Artist of the Year winner Tenille Townes also performed for the packed crowd on Tostitos Championship Plaza. 

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(ACM Country Kickoff performer and Warner Music Nashville artist Randall King; 2019 ACM New Female Artist of the Year winner and Sony Music Nashville artist Tenille Townes)

Texas Country fans filled the plaza at The Star throughout the day and well into the evening for live performances by exciting up-and-coming artists Ashley CookeCorey KentRandall KingErin KinseyChase MatthewIan MunsickNeon Union, and Frank Ray. Artists performing today include ACM New Male Artist of the Year nominees Dylan Scott and Nate Smith; ACM New Female Artist of the Year nominee Caitlyn Smith; ACM Music Event of the Year nominee MacKenzie Porter; as well as Chayce BeckhamChapel HartHannah EllisTiera KennedyCatie OffermanJosh Ross, and MaRynn Taylor.

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(Left photo: ACM Award nominee and 58th ACM Awards performer Cody Johnson; Right photo: ACM Award nominees and performers, Warner Music Nashville artist Cole Swindell and Jo Dee Messina) 

Rehearsals for the 58th ACM Awards also took place on Tuesday with performers including Jason Aldean; Kane Brown; Jordan Davis; Jelly Roll; Cody Johnson; Ashley McBryde featuring Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, Pillbox Patti, and John Osborne; Cole Swindell and Jo Dee Messina; and Lainey Wilson, taking the stage in preparation for the globally livestreaming show on Thursday night. Many of those performers, as well as artists participating in the ACM Country Kickoff, also took part in ACM Awards Media Row, speaking with top Country radio stations, syndicated shows, and groups from across the U.S., including a number of ACM Radio Awards winners.

EPK footage from ACM Awards Week is available HERE

Password: 58ACMAwards

Photos from ACM Awards Week are available HERE

Username: acmspr23 Password: PASS4acms!

About the ACM Country Kickoff at The Star

The ACM Country Kickoff at The Star is a free, open-to-the-public, two-day festival for fans to get up close and personal with some of their favorite Country Music acts and celebrate the ACM Awards’ return to North Texas. A beer garden presented by Coors Light will be on hand, in addition to a VIP space presented by Lucas Oil with a prime view of the stage. The ACM Country Kickoff will also feature food trucks, photo opportunities, ACM Awards show merchandise, and activations by a host of partners, including ACM Lifting Lives, Amazon Music, Ashley HomeStore, Kendra Scott, Lucchese, North Texas Ford, and Visit Frisco. The ACM Kickoff at The Star will be held from 3:00 - 10:00 p.m. CT on both Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10. For more information, visit

It all leads up to the 58th ACM Awards, co-hosted by global superstars Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, which will take place at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, May 11 at Ford Center at The Star and will be free to stream live for a global audience across 240+ countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch. The full rebroadcast will stream the next day for free on Amazon Freevee. Dubbed “Country Music’s Party of the Year,” the 2023 edition will mark Parton’s second consecutive appearance as host, with Brooks taking the stage to host a major Awards show for the first time.

The events of ACM Awards Week include the ACM Country Kickoff at The Star, which is open to the public, free to all fans, and does not require tickets; ACM Songs & Stories Powered by The Bluebird Cafe + NSAI, a private industry celebration of the top songwriters of the past year; Topgolf Tee-Off & Rock On presented by VGT by Aristocrat Gaming followed by ACM Lifting Lives LIVE, a live concert on the green at Topgolf The Colony, which is sold out; and the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards live from Ford Center at The Star and FREE to stream LIVE all over the globe exclusively on Prime Video and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch. Limited tickets to the ACM Awards show have just been released and are available through SeatGeek.

In addition to the events throughout the week of the ACM Awards, Dolly Parton will have an exclusive, limited-run pop-up store, Dolly! All Access, during ACM Awards Week (May 9-14, 2023) at The Star in Frisco, Texas. For the first time, global superstar Dolly Parton is bringing her brand partners together for a custom, curated shopping experience. Parton joins Garth Brooks as they host the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards streaming around the world LIVE on Prime Video May 11th at 7pm CT from The Ford Center in Frisco, TX. The address for Dolly! All Access is 3620 The Star Boulevard, Suite 1205, Frisco, Texas 75034. 

Dolly Parton merchandise will also be available during ACM Awards Week on Tuesday May 9th and Wednesday, May 10th via a merchandise trailer on The Star complex and on Thursday, May 11th inside The Ford Center during the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.

About the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards

The world’s biggest Country Music show is set for Thursday, May 11, as legends Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks host the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco at 7 p.m. CT. Back in Texas for the first time since the record-breaking 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, “Country Music’s Party of the Year” will livestream in more than 240 countries and territories exclusively on Prime Video. Limited tickets have just been released and are available on SeatGeek, while the full rebroadcast will stream for free on Friday, May 12 on Freevee.

The ACM’s made history in 2022 as the first major awards ceremony to exclusively livestream, partnering with Prime Video. For the 2023 event, the show is again partnering with Prime Video on an exclusive global live stream.

About the Academy of Country Music

Founded in Southern California in 1964 as a regional trade organization, the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC (ACM) has grown in the almost-60 years since into a leading association for the country music industry. Now headquartered in Nashville, TN and boasting record-high membership of nearly 5,000 nationwide, the Academy serves as a powerhouse advocate for country fans, artists, and all facets of the business, as well as a supporter of philanthropic work through charitable partner ACM LIFTING LIVES, dedicated to improving lives through the power of music and providing aid in times of need, with a focus on health initiatives. 2023 looks to be another monumental year for the Academy, with the ACM Awards returning to Texas on May 11 and streaming live for a global audience on Prime Video, still the only major awards show to livestream. The Academy also remains relentlessly committed to creating a more inclusive environment for underrepresented groups in country music, from the boardroom to the stage, and over the last year has launched both ACM LEVel Up, a two-year professional development and enrichment curriculum for rising leaders, and OnRamp, a guaranteed income program for Black members of the Nashville music community, in partnership with the Black Music Action Coalition. For more information, log onto or

About The Star

The Star is the 91-acre campus of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and training facility in Frisco, Texas. Developed as a first-of-its-kind partnership between the City of Frisco, Frisco ISD and the Dallas Cowboys, The Star features Ford Center, a 12,000-seat stadium that hosts Frisco ISD football games, concerts and other events; Cowboys Fit, a 60,000 square-foot gym developed in partnership with leading fitness developer, Mark Mastrov; Cowboys Club, a members-only club where the country club meets the NFL; the Omni Frisco Hotel, a 16-floor, 300-room luxury hotel; Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star, a 300,000 square-foot center of excellence for sports medicine; Twelve Cowboys Way, a 17-story, luxury residential tower in partnership between Pro Football Hall-of-Fame Quarterback #12 Roger Staubach, and Dallas-based developer and former Dallas Cowboys center, Robert Shaw; Formation, a dynamic coworking experience offering a collaborative work environment of open workspace, dedicated desks and private offices; as well as a variety of shopping, dining and nightlife options throughout The Star District. For more information on The Star, visit

Media Contacts

Academy of Country Music: Jesse Knutson, [email protected]

Tony Fay: Angela Lang, [email protected] and Tami Carr, [email protected]