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Luke Bryan Gears Up for Big ACM Awards Weekend, ‘Lionel Richie and Friends’ Taping

Luke Bryan
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Luke Bryan has been looking forward to this weekend for some time now. In addition to performing on the 2012 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 1), Bryan will also take part in the special ‘Lionel Richie and Friends – In Concert’ taping set to take place the following night.

The show, dedicated to the former Commodores singer, is in honor of his newly-released album, ‘Tuskegee,’ which is home to several duets with country music’s hottest stars. During the red Richie and Friends event, Bryan will perform ‘Runnin’ With the Night.’

“He is by far in my top three most influential songwriters and artists of all time,” Bryan tells Taste of Country, speaking of Lionel Richie. “I met him at the CMAs. He walked up and said, ‘Hey Luke.’ I almost hit the floor backstage. [Then a few weeks] ago for [Country Radio Seminar], I had the opportunity to sing with him and meet him. We had our fingers crossed certainly on getting to be a part of the Lionel Richie tribute.”

Before Bryan can take the stage along side Richie this weekend, the ‘I Don’t Want This Night to End’ hitmaker will perform at the ACM Awards, which air Sunday night. His performance at the red carpet event is quite an honor for Bryan, as he is not nominated in any of the categories this year.

“We got the news of my ACM [Awards] performance, which was really, really rewarding and flattering news,” he spills. “To not have a nomination out there and to get a performance slot, we were super excited. We felt like we were super worthy of it. We had one of the biggest songs and felt like that sound needed to be heard on the ACMs. We’re excited about the performance, and we are certainly very excited about being a part of the Lionel show.”

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, co-hosted by Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton, will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1 at 8:00PM ET (delayed PT) on CBS. Others scheduled to perform on Sunday night’s show include Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw, among others. Look for ‘Lionel Richie and Friends – In Concert’ to air April 13 on CBS.

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