ACM Lifting Lives and the Academy of Country Music announced today (April 8) the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund allocated $1 million in less than a week following the ACM Presents: Our Country special that aired Sunday, April 5 on CBS. The special was viewed by early 8 million music fans around the country, and featured at-home acoustic performances from country artists, along with clips from past ACM Awards moments and an introduction of the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund.
Since the announcement, $1 million was raised thanks to ACM Lifting Lives sponsors FirstNet, Built with AT&T and Amazon Music, and donors, including The Bobby Bones Show, City National Bank, and other individuals. The ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund—which was created to assist individuals working in the country music industry who are suffering a financial crisis as a result of the pandemic—began with an initial endowment of $250,000, matched $250,000 in outside support, and is now contributing another $250,000 due to the need of applicants. To date, more than $500,000 has been distributed to country music industry professionals who demonstrate immediate financial needs due to COVID-19 and meet the outlined criteria.
“In less than 48 hours, ACM Lifting Lives was able to send financial support to hundreds of applicants with the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund at an expedited pace,” said Lyndsay Cruz, Executive Director of ACM Lifting Lives. “A huge thank you to our generous private corporate donors, partners, and many individual industry leaders for their contributions. Because of them, ACM Lifting Lives matched donations to aid those in the county music community during these extraordinary times. We are hopeful to continue supporting future applicants with this fund and thank you to all for the support.”
It was also announced that ACM Presents: Our Country will rebroadcast Saturday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. CT on the CBS Television Network and on CBS All Access. The special features performances from Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown & John Legend, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley & Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Additionally, the special will honor 10-time ACM Award winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker.
“The Academy thanks the artists that participated in the special as they brought comfort and music to nearly 8 million people in this time of uncertainty,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “The show also spread the message about the good work of ACM Lifting Lives through the generosity of our artists and partners, and directed viewers to our ACMOurCountry.com website where they can apply or discover how to support this important cause.”
The ACM Presents: Our Country Pre-Show is available to watch via the ACM Facebook, YouTube and the newly launched ACMOurCountry.com website. Lauren Alaina, Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Lee Brice, Blanco Brown, Lindsay Ell, Riley Green, Mickey Guyton, Caylee Hammack, Ashley McBryde, Jake Owen, Carly Pearce, and Tenille Townes appear on the Our Country Pre-Show. The Pre-Show also pays tribute to 6-time ACM Award nominee Joe Diffie, who passed away due to complications with COVID-19, with a special performance by Chris Young.
For more information about the COVID-19 Response Fund including corporate partnerships, visit ACMLiftingLives.org.