Nominees for the Academy of Country Music's (ACM) New Female Artist of the Year and New Male Artist of the Year awards teamed up with Willie Nelson for a cover of "On the Road Again." It's for a good cause, with proceeds benefitting the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, which helps those in the country music community in need of pandemic relief assistance.
Nelson revisits his Grammy award winner from the Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack with five talented women: American Idol hopeful turned "I Hope" singer Gabby Barrett plus recent Alan Jackson duet partner Caylee Hammack, "More Hearts Than Mine" singer Ingrid Andress, plus two great Canadian talents: Lindsay Ell and Tenille Townes. Their male counterparts are new dad Morgan Wallen, "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" singer Riley Green and three stars that don't seem all that new: Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson and Russell Dickerson.
"The Academy is honored to work with Willie Nelson and all 10 ACM Awards New Artist Nominees to create a new contemporary version of the classic 'On the Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives Edition)' that is so poignant for our current times," Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, said in a statement. "This is a powerful way to showcase so many of our newer and fast-rising artists alongside one of our genre's most legendary artists and iconic songs of all time. It feels very appropriate that this event will raise much needed funds for our Country Music industry members in financial crisis through our ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund. A huge thank you to the artists, Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins as well as our friends at Warner Music Nashville for donating their time to this important project."
The song hit streaming services on Thurs., Aug. 13.
Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the 55th ACM Awards were moved from Sun., April 5 in Las Vegas to Wed., Sept. 16 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry House and the Bluebird Cafe. It'll be the first time the CBS broadcast emanates from Music City.
Other noteworthy award nominees include Entertainer of the Year hopefuls Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett. The broadcast will be hosted by reigning Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban.