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Music City
WILLIE NELSON TAKES ACM BEST NEW ARTISTS “ON THE ROAD AGAIN”
8/10/20

Leave it to The Academy of Country Music. Just when every artist, roadie, tour manager, lighting designer and steel guitar player is experiencing massive withdrawal from the summer concert season, Damon Whiteside delivers a dream-come-true opportunity for this year’s Best New Female and Male ACM nominees.

Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Riley Green, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, Tenille Townes and Morgan Wallen all joined Willie Nelson to record the touring artist’s national anthem, “On the Road Again.” Produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins, the track enables the emerging artists to celebrate the very thing no one is getting to do. But like Ray Charles, Merle Haggard, Kenny Chesney and Julio Iglesias before them, they can now check off duetting with Willie on their bucket lists, as social-distancing circumstances created the opportunity to sing with Willie on his time-honored classic.

John Esposito raised his hand to take the recording to the people. On 8/13, Warner Music Nashville drops this Cinderella single across all digital platforms, as well as country radio. Benefiting the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, helping individuals across the country music community who are currently in need off pandemic relief, “On The Road Again” serves as an event record that sounds good and does good. Proceeds will  be disbursed to individuals in the country music community who are currently in need of pandemic relief assistance. To learn more about ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, visit ACMLiftingLives.org.  

ACM CEO Whiteside says of the synergy for the emerging artists, “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.”

Once upon a time, those new artists were shipped to Knotts Berry Farm or Universal Studios to pre-tape odd performances—who can forget The Kentucky Headhunters on that New Orleans-style pier rocking out with a bunch of monkeys?—that promoted the attractions as much as their song. To sing with Willie and benefit their community? This is where generational merging, a hit everyone knows and making a difference intersect in the best possible way.