NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Get ready for another dose of Blake Shelton as country's hottest leading man joins Reba McEntire again this year as co-host of The Academy of Country Music Awards.
The 47th annual show will be held Sunday, April 1, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Like Shelton, the ACM's Fan Jam also will return for a second year. This time Zac Brown Band will host the parallel event at the Mandalay Events Center.
The academy also announced Lionel Richie will host "ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends -- A Lifetime of Hits," its annual television special taped the day after the awards and aired later on CBS. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Rogers, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride and others will join Richie on the show.
The appearance will continue country music's love affair with Richie, who is preparing to release a country duets album this spring called "Tuskegee." Most of today's top country stars have said recently that Richie is an influence and his recent appearances at celebrity events have drawn crowds of star-struck celebrities.
"Being a part of the ACMs is an honor," Richie said in an email to the Associated Press. "I am excited to share such an amazing evening with some of my closest friends."
Shelton was an easy-going foil for his good friend Reba last year in his first extended television appearance. It turned out to be a sign of things to come as Shelton rode his appearance on singing contest reality show "The Voice" as a coach later that month to a new level of popularity.
Sugarland hosted the new Fan Jam event and after party at Mandalay Bay in 2010 with occasional live remotes that appeared on the broadcast, including a duet featuring Jennifer Nettles and Rihanna. Zac Brown Band, known for its kinetic live shows, will be joined by special guests that will be announced later.