The Academy of Country Music announced during a conference call today that Hunter Hayes and Stevie Wonder will perform together during the live broadcast of the ACM Awards on April 7.
According to R.A. Clark, son of the late Dick Clark and executive producer of the ACM Awards, as the show producers were talking to Hunter about his musical influences, Stevie Wonder’s name came up. They then put a call into Wonder, and he agree to do it.
Hunter is one of the hottest rising stars in country music today, which was something that was not lost on Wonder. “When we reached out to Stevie,” said ACM president Bob Romeo, “he knew a handful of Hunter’s songs and he wanted to jump on the bandwagon.”
Clark elaborated on the choice. “When Hunter’s on tour, he covers some Stevie Wonder music,” he explained. “That’s what got us thinking about it.” And when they went to Stevie with the idea, the R&B legend told them, “‘I know that yong man, I”ve listened to him, he’s a great talent.’”
The song they’ll perform together won’t be revealed, but the producers did say it would be one of Wonder’s “monster” classics.
The duet will come right after Hunter debuts a brand-new song, “I Want Crazy.”
Additional pairings at the show include Tim McGraw with Taylor Swiftand Keith Urban, performing Tim’s current single “Highway Don’t Care” (which features Taylor on vocals and Keith on guitar); Dierks Bentley and Hayes; Blake Shelton with Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan,Brad Paisley, and others; Kelly Clarkson and an as-yet-unannounced duet partner; and, for the first time, George Strait and Garth Brooks.
The 48th ACM Awards air live on Sunday, April 7 at 8pm ET on CBS.