Why Dolly Parton And Garth Brooks Didn’t Return To Host The ACM Awards
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Why Dolly Parton And Garth Brooks Didn’t Return To Host The ACM Awards

Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks put on a show last year for the ACM Awards, making for a dynamic duo. So, why aren't they back as hosts again this year?

Well, it's all do to their own choice. ACM Awards executive producer Patrick Menton told Billboard that he reached out the pair. However, they didn't feel like a reprisal.

"They were ready to take a step down," he said. "They had such a rocking year last year, they probably felt like it [would be] hard to top." Fortunately, the event could count on Reba McEntire stepping in.

"Reba is one of the most kind and hard-working artists out there, and to have her hosting our show, having an icon like that — we're so lucky," Menton said.

Preparing The ACM Awards

Both Menton and showrunner Raj Kapoor opened up about their goals for this year's award show. For one, Kapoor says he wants to put a country-music first show. Some viewers have recently complained about awards shows getting too far away from the genre."Our goal is always country-first," Kapoor said. "We're not actively going out to pursue artists [who are] out-of-genre. I think the most important thing is that it fits in a very natural way. We're not asking people to come in who don't have relationships or haven't wanted to work together or don't have projects together. We always want to stay authentically country. Those bonds that bring people together need to exist already."

Meanwhile, Menton opened up about finding the right balance. For one, there's Post Malone who recently entered the genre. He said, "Yes, Post is definitely a kind of pop/hip-hop performer, but in a way, he's almost genre-less. Post spent a lot of time in Nashville on this record and kind of dove back into his roots. He's a country traditionalist at heart. He's from Texas, so he grew up on this. Having heard some of the album, this is a real country album. This is an artist who's really honoring the genre."

Likewise, Menton pointed out that country music is really a global phenomenon now so the ACM Awards are taking that into account. He said, "This is such a global genre now. Country artists are selling out stadiums in the U.K. and Europe and all over the world. So, I think there is that conversation of they want it to be a bit boundary-less. They want those guardrails to open up a little bit. Yes, for us to be focused on country and celebrate the genre, but we really do welcome these other genres coming in because [country] really has exploded into this global genre and we want to celebrate that."