On Monday evening (Mar. 7), Stapleton, who will be joined by a 16-person choir and an undisclosed special guest who will be revealed during the show, will take to the stage at Allegiant Stadium to perform “Watch You Burn,” a track from his GRAMMY-nominated album, Starting Over.
“Tomorrow we’ll be performing ‘Watch You Burn,’ which is a song that I wrote with Mike Campbell about the shooting that happened here during the country music festival,” Stapleton revealed in an interview with People. “So yeah, that’s what we’re doing.”
The performance will also mark the live television debut of the track, which includes lyrics that directly call out the shooter.
“Only a coward would pick up a gun / And shoot up a crowd trying to have fun / Now the Vegas lights won’t lose their glow / And the band will play / And go on with the show,” Stapleton sings on the track.
Route 91 Harvest was a country music festival that took place in Las Vegas that ended in tragedy, marking the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. During the event, a gunman opened fire on the crowd from a nearby hotel room window, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others.
Stapleton is among most-nominated artists of the evening with 5 nods, including Entertainer Of The Year, Male Artist Of The Year, Single Of The Year (“You Should Probably Leave”), Video Of The Year (“I Bet You Think About Me” (Taylor’s Version) w/ Taylor Swift).
Co-hosted by global icon Dolly Parton with Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett, the two-hour show will air without commercials and will feature 20+ performances from some of country music’s hottest superstars and rising newcomers.
The performance lineup includes Parker McCollum and Lainey Wilson, who have been crowned this year’s New Male and New Female Artist of the Year, respectively as well as Barrett, Allen, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Walker Hayes, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, Lady A and Kelly Clarkson.
“The concert event of the year” will also include several collaborations, including Parton featuring Kelsea Ballerini (“Big Dreams & Faded Jeans”), BRELAND featuring Thomas Rhett (“Praise The Lord”), Jordan Davis (“Buy Dirt,” feat. Luke Bryan), Brothers Osborne and Brittney Spencer (“These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”), Parmalee and Blanco Brown featuring Brooke Eden (“Just the Way”), Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde (“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”), and Chris Young featuring Mitchell Tenpenny (“At the End of a Bar”).
The 2022 ACM Awards presenters include Alan Ritchson (actor, Reacher), Derek Carr (quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders), Guy Torry (comedian, Phat Tuesdays), James Patterson (author, Run Rose Run), Jason Aldean, Kelsey Asbille (actor, Yellowstone), Luke Grimes (actor, Yellowstone), Mickey Guyton, and Tom Pelphrey (actor, Outer Range).
The ACM Awards will make history as this marks the first major awards show to livestream exclusively as it will stream live on Prime Video in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.