Keith Urban and Shure Artist Julia Michaels perform Urban’s single “Coming Home” on Axient Digital wireless (with SM58 and Beta 58 capsules respectively) at the Academy of Country Music Awards.


Broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the 2018 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards featured themes of return and remembrance.


Among the notable performances were throwback duets by Reba McEntire—in her original and notorious red dress from 1993—singing “Does He Love You” with Kelly Clarkson, as well as Alan Jackson doing “Chattahoochee” with Jon Pardi. Toby Keith used Axient Digital for his “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” throwback with Blake Shelton. Shure UHF-R systems were selected for Carrie Underwood’s highly anticipated return to the stage, and for Maren Morris’ performance of “Rich.”


But for everyone else, it was a wireless night, with Axient Digital used for live performances by Keith Urban with Julia Michaels, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Dan + Shay, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Kenny Chesney, Chris Young, Thomas Rhett, and Kane Brown with Lauren Alaina.

Ryan Smith, Shure’s Artist Relations manager based in Nashville, was in Las Vegas for the event and was pleased to see the next generation of country musicembracing Shure technology, both old and new. For their performance of “Drinking Problem,” Best New Vocal Duo or Group winner Midland opted for classic wired SM58®s to deliver their trademark four-part harmonies. Axient Digital mics were used by Best New Female Vocalist Lauren Alaina (AD2/SM58) and Best New Male Vocalist Brett Young (AD2/KSM9). Both artists also used PSM 1000 in-ear systems.

“Year after year, it’s a pleasure to work with the audio crews on the ACM Awards broadcast,” says Smith. “We are thankful and honored that, like so many artists and engineers in country music, they continue to put their trust in Shure wireless.”