Jason Aldean To Pay Tribute To Toby Keith During 59th ACM Awards In Texas

By Kelly Fisher

May 14, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Jason Aldean will cover one of Toby Keith’s most memorable country anthems as a tribute to the late legend at the 59th ACM Awards on Thursday evening (May 16).

The Academy of Country Music confirmed on Tuesday morning (May 14) that Aldean, the reigning ACM Artist of the Decade, will perform “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” in Keith’s honor. Aldean shared on his Instagram story on Tuesday that he’s “honored to pay tribute to my friend, the one and only [Toby Keith] with a special performance of ‘Should’ve Been A Cowboy’ at the [ACM Awards]. Join me as we celebrate his legacy and the mark he left on country music.”

Other artists taking the stage throughout the evening include Post MaloneParker McCollumKelsea Ballerini and Noah KahanNate Smith and Avril Lavigne; husband-and-wife duo Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani; Kane BrownJelly RollCody JohnsonMiranda LambertThomas RhettChris Stapleton, and Lainey WilsonReba McEntire, who will return to host the show for the 17th time, will also perform “brand new music,” she previously confirmed. The Academy announced on Monday (May 13) that presenters include AlabamaBRELAND, Tyler Cameron, Jordan DavisSara EvansCarin LeónLittle Big TownAshley McBryde, Dion and Rozene Pride, Noah Reid, Richard Sherman, Charissa Thompson, Randy Travisand Clay Walker.

Keith “passed peacefully last night on Feb. 5 surrounded by his family,” following a years-long battle with stomach cancer that he fought “with grace and courage,” per a statement posted to his social media pages in the early morning hours of February 6. He was 62. The Songwriters Hall of Famer and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee was honored in tributes across the country music community. His children — son, Stelen Keith Covel, 27, and daughters Krystal Keith, 38, and Shelly Covel Rowland, 44 — remembered him as their “hero.”

Bobby Bones will host intimate artist interviews featured in his “Backstage with Bobby Bones” segment throughout the night of the show. He also kicked off nominations on The Bobby Bones Show last month. See the full list of 59th ACM Award nominees here.

The show is set to return to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, the world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, leading up to the milestone 60th year in 2025. This year’s ACM Red Carpet will kick off at 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT/4 p.m. PDT. The show is set for Thursday, May 16 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT.

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