Paisley and Rucker virtually tag teamed on “Lucille” and the iconic “The Gambler.” Poised in his home studio, Paisley was joined by video by Rucker, Paisley plucking the guitar while adding gentle harmonies to the chorus of “Lucille” before they turned “The Gambler” into a duet, Paisley’s sweet voice accenting the rugged nature of Rucker’s. “We miss you Kenny Rogers,” Paisley proclaimed at song’s end, with Rucker adding, “we sure do.”
The twosome then tossed it over to Bryan, who delivered “Coward of the County” from his couch at his home in Nashville. The ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee delivered an understated performance of the song, capturing its somber nature with his voice and acoustic guitar. “We love you Kenny thank you so much for all your musical contributions,” he commended after the performance.
The tribute concluded with a heartfelt message from Rogers’ collaborator and longtime friend, Richie, who co-wrote one of Rogers’ most prominent hits, “Lady.” The two became close friends after Rogers cut the song in 1980. “I found one of the greatest friend I ever had in my whole life,” Richie praised of the country icon, describing his loss as “tremendous on my heart…the memories are unbelievable.” The show ended with a clip of Rogers and Richie’s performing “Lady” during the 2012 special, ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends – In Concert!
ACM Presents: Our Country aired on CBS on Sunday (April 5) in place of the ACM Awards ceremony, which was postponed to Sept. 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs were among the many other stars who delivered performances from their homes.