LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) – The Academy of Country Music Awards will unite Democrats and Republicans, according to Luke Bryan, the show’s host and a part-time comedian.

The country star, hosting Sunday’s show for the fifth straight year, joked — as usual — about his duties at the country music party held annually in Las Vegas and airing live on CBS.

“Democrats and Republicans are going to get along on Sunday night. They’re all going to watch the ACMs together and stuff’s going to start happening in this country. It’s going to change,” Bryan said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Cats and dogs are going to make out.”

“Coming to an election near you. Is politics your next career?” chimed in fellow country singer Dierks Bentley, who will co-host with Bryan.

“Yes,” Bryan replied.

Their playful demeanor and carefree attitude will be a main focus Sunday night as country music’s A-list players celebrate their success in the genre.

Performers at the T-Mobile Arena event include Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Rascal Flatts, Chris Stapleton as well as Bryan and Bentley.

PHOTO GALLERY: ACM Awards Red Carpet

The show will also feature collaborative performances by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line and Backstreet Boys, Reba McEntire and Lauren Daigle, and Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.

Underwood and Urban are competing for the top prize — entertainer of the year — along with Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Aldean, who won the honor last year.

Urban, who had success with his genre-bending, Grammy-nominated album “Ripcord,” is the top nominee with seven.

He will compete for album of the year, single record and song of the year with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and male vocalist of the year.

In the latter category, he’s up against Aldean, Bentley, Stapleton and Thomas Rhett.

Nominees for female vocalist of the year are Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Lambert, Underwood and Morris, who recently won a Grammy for her hit song, “My Church.”

Other performers during the three-hour show are Rhett, Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi.

Presenters include Darius Rucker, Miss America Savvy Shields, Jake Owen, Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and Kellie Pickler.

The 52nd annual ACM Awards start at 8 p.m. Eastern.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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