Willie Nelson makes a surprise appearance at the 2023 ACM Awards

Willie Nelson makes a surprise appearance at the 2023 ACM Awards

The 2023 ACM Awards took over the Star’s Ford Center in Frisco, Texas on Thursday, May 11 — and when a country music awards show hits the Lone Star State, it’s only fitting that Willie Nelson gets noticed.

That doubles for a year when the outlaw country icon celebrates his 90th birthday (which he marked with a two-day concert in Los Angeles) and finds himself on the verge of being inducted into Rock and Roll. Hall of Fame (when first nominated, no less).

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Nelson couldn’t be there in person, but he did a FaceTime call with co-hosts Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks during the live stream on Amazon Prime Video.

“Thank you, Dolly, for sending these beautiful flowers for my birthday,” Nelson said. “Garth, I take it your birthday present is still on the way?” Pretending to look sheepish, Brooks explained that he had to leave “the tracking number in my other pants.”

Much like Dolly opened the 2023 ACMs with a joke about her famous assets, Willie made a predictable and reassuring crack at her signature mate during the ACMs. “I love all kinds of flowers and plants too,” he said. “I went there, I felt that,” Parton joked.

Next month, Brooks will take part in Billboard’s first-ever Billboard Country Live event, which will take place in Nashville on June 6-7. The country’s game-changer will sit down for an intimate Q&A as part of the two-day event, which also includes a headlining performance by Jelly Roll on June 6.

The ACM Awards are produced by Dick Clark Productions. DCP is owned by Penske Media Eldridge, a subsidiary of Penske Media Corporation (PMC) and a joint venture between PMC and Eldridge. PMC is the parent company of Billboard.

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