The ACM Party for a Cause® returned to Nashville, Tennessee on August 23 for its second consecutive year, benefiting ACM Lifting Lives®, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music.
Hosted by SiriusXM’s Storme Warren, the live concert was held at Ascend Amphitheater and featured live performances by SiriusXM The Highway Find artist Hailey Whitters, reigning ACM Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne, Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Scotty McCreery, Ingrid Andress, Blanco Brown, Travis Denning, Caylee Hammack. Country artist and social media influencer Cooper Alan was featured as a social correspondent.
SiriusXM Highway Find artist Hailey Whitters kicked off the show with a medley of her song “How Far Can It Go?” and Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s in Love with the Boy,” a nod to the artist who is featured on Whitters’ song. She closed her set with her current single “Everything She Ain’t.”
During a brief intermission, the screens surrounding the stage played a video recorded by ACM New Artist nominees in 2020, an ACM Lifting Lives version of “On the Road Again.” The video collaboration featured Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Riley Green, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, Tenille Townes, and Morgan Wallen, alongside Willie Nelson.
The show resumed with Caylee Hammack, who brought the heat with her song “Forged in the FIre.” She also performed a new song, “Only Good Things,” revealing that she wrote it a few months ago and just recorded it less than two weeks ago. Hammack joked that one of the lyrics in the song, “Crock Pot,” is sometimes misheard as “crack pipe,” so she clarified the line in hopes of a sponsorship deal with the kitchen appliance brand.
Travis Denning took the stage next, with his hit song “ABBY” and his current single “Buy a Girl a Drink.” He elevated the energy of the crowd with his final song, an electric performance of “After a Few,” which featured his superb guitar playing.
As the stage was reset for the next artist, host Storme Warren chatted with social correspondent Cooper Alan, and challenged him to a mashup of songs, having the audience shout out artist names. Alan sang samples of Ludacris, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Shania Twain, and Alabama, to the delight of fans.
Ingrid Andress took the stage next, performing her hit songs “Lady Like,” “Heart Like Mine,” and “Wishful Drinking.”
Blanco Brown brought the crowd to its feet with his infectious energy and positive vibes, performing his hit dance song “The Git Up,” followed by “Nobody’s More Country,” when he even played the spoons. He closed out his set with a new song, saying that it’s a message to love people the way they deserve to be loved.
Scotty McCreery was all smiles as he took the stage to perform his hits “You Time,” “This is It,” and his latest number one single, “Damn Strait.” McCreery told the crowd that “Damn Strait” is the most fun he’s ever had with a song.
Host Storme Warren returned to the stage with a surprise opportunity for fans – a chance to sit on stage with the remaining artists during their sets. Warren held a live auction for each coveted experience to benefit the ACM Lifting Lives organization. Four fans donated $15,000 to sit on stage during Darius Rucker’s performance. The winning bids were $7500 for Sara Evans, $7500 for Brothers Osborne and $10,000 for Brad Paisley.
The music resumed with Darius Rucker, who brought the entire crowd to its feet. He started his set with his hit song “Alright,” followed by his current single “Same Beer Different Problem.” Rucker joked that the next song was for “all the old folks… I include myself in that” before going into the Hootie & the Blowfish hit “Only Wanna Be With You.” He closed out his set with the sing-along smash “Wagon Wheel.”
Sara Evans brought her powerhouse vocals and sweet nostalgia with her hits “Born To Fly,” “Little Bit Stronger,” and crowd-favorite “Suds in the Bucket.”
2022 ACM Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne kicked the show up a notch with their rock-infused set, starting with “Skeletons,” followed by the clap-along hit “Ain’t My Fault,” ending with the aptly named “Stay a Little Longer.”
To close out the night, Brad Paisley delivered his signature sound and a surprise duet. After his opening song “Mud On the Tires,” Paisley began to sing “Whiskey Lullaby” with a mysterious female voice harmonizing from off-stage. Caylee Hammack then walked on stage and began to sing the second verse, shocking fans with the surprise. Hammack and Paisley delivered the achingly beautiful song with a natural ease. Paisley wrapped up his set and the night with “Alcohol,” as fans raised their drinks to end the fun-filled party for an important cause.
ACM Party for a Cause® events have raised over $500,000 through ticket proceeds. Since 2006, the concert’s beneficiary ACM Lifting Lives® has given more than $7 million to more than 150 worthy causes. For more information on ACM Lifting Lives®, visit www.acmliftinglives.org.