Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan Salute The Hag Live

Additional performers, presenters and an unprecedented number of duos and special collaborations were revealed this morning for Sunday's 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards - Country Music's Party of the Year - but still no confirmation on rumors of a Shania Twain surprise appearance that I reported Tuesday.

Luke and Dierks will showcase more of their comic stylings Wednesday night on CBS, as they stop by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35 p.m. ET. Voices like Cole Swindell and Maren Morris are just a some of the newer artists that the guys' admire for their work ethics for getting them to the frontline of the genre throughout the a year ago. In 2013, the show was watched by 15.5 million people, according to the Nielsen company, outdrawing the rival Country Music Association Awards show held the previous November for the first time.

But viewership took a steep drop a year ago to 11.2 million when the awards show went up against "The Walking Dead" season finale and the iHeartRadio Music Awards. "There is a very strong base of country fans, I think, that are just very dedicated to country music", he said.

Bentley revealed that "right behind [the ACM Awards stage] is a full bar".

Bentley and Bryan are returning to co-host the ACM Awards for the second time in 2017, and the good friends have a plan in place if they make any errors in announcing the awards, as happened at the Oscars.

A network announcement confirms that Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris will perform their new collaboration "Craving You" on the broadcast. "And that's what gives the show the edge".

"Other than a psychiatrist", quips Bryan, who will again be vying for the ACM Entertainer of the Year prize.

  • Salvatore Jensen