Country music got a unique crossover performance at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.
Held on March 11th in Frisco, Texas, at the Ford Center at the Star, the event was hosted by Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks. The two-hour commercial-free event recognized some of the year’s best artists, songs and albums and featured memorable performances.
One of those performances came from pop superstar Ed Sheeran who made his first appearance at the country music awards show. Sheeran, who just released his new album “-” (“Subtract”), took the stage to sing “Life Goes On.”
“Life Goes On” is a track from the newly-released album. Prior to his ACM Awards appearance Sheeran promised that Thursday’s performance would include a country “surprise,” something that was sure to appease the country music crowd. His surprise did not disappoint as Luke Combs joined him on stage to sing the beautiful ballad.
Ed Sheeran joined a lineup of performers for the night that included Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Jelly Roll, Keith Urban, Morgan Wallen, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman, and co-host Parton,
Sheeran’s appearance at the ACM Awards caused a stir online, but the “Thinking Out Loud” singer isn’t the first non-country artist to perform at the event. Brad Paisley was joined by John Mayer to perform “Beat This Summer” in 2013. Two years prior, Rihanna sang “California King Bed” with Jennifer Nettles, and Stevie Nick appeared with Lady A in 2014.
Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Steven Tyler, Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow and Shakira are just a few of the other non-country stars who have performed on the ACMs.
Ed Sheeran also has some country ties. In 2019 the singer was joined by Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars for “Blow,” a song the men wrote in a Nashville basement. Sheeran also wrote Keith Urban’s hit song “Parallel Line” and co-wrote “Tip Of My Tongue” recorded by Kenny Chesney.
Any uncertainty about Sheeran’s performance at the ACMs was likely put to rest after his beautiful delivery of “Life Goes On.” While Sheeran is considered a pop star, he resides in Nashville, his fan base is far-reaching and he received a warm welcome and hearty praise after his performance Thursday night.
Watch Ed Sheeran and Luke Combs sing “Life Goes On” at the ACM Awards in the video below.