Ed Sheeran took to the stage at this evening's star-studded 2023 ACM Awards ceremony, to provide one of the many highlights of a stellar evening that featured performances from the likes of Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, HARDY and more.
Sheeran delivered a powerful rendition of ‘Life Goes On’ alongside his good buddy, Luke Combs. The star-studded collaboration followed Combs’ moving performance of ‘Love You Anyway’.
Later that evening, Ed Sheeran released the studio version of ‘Life Goes On’ featuring Luke Combs, which marks the first official collaboration between the two.
Luke Combs’ deep, gravelly vocals served as the perfect pairing to Ed Sheeran's intricate, drawn-in lyricism. It was a special, one-of-a-kind moment during a special, one-of-a-kind night.
Following their joint performance, Garth Brooks quizzed Sheeran on how the two first became friends five years ago, and the Suffolk artist replied that he discovered Luke Combs’ music online. From there, their bromance endearingly blossomed.
Although his booking came as a surprise to many, Ed Sheeran revealed ahead of the 2023 ACM Awards that he's always been a huge fan of country music. As well as delving into the genre with his Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars collaboration, ‘Blow’, Sheeran has also leant his pen to the likes of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and more.
His stunning performance of ‘Life Goes On’, which features on his new album, Subtract, highlighted Sheeran's ear for the storytelling magic that underpins so many iconic country songs, with the vulnerable ballad deftly exploring feelings of grief.
While many of the ceremony's sets were accompanied by mini light-shows and larger-than-life staging, Ed Sheeran adopted his trademark position alone with a guitar on the 2023 ACM platform.
As usual, this made his set all the more affecting, with Ed Sheeran's heartbreakingly honest lyrics clearly resonating with the captivated ACM audience (“So tell me how / How our life goes on with you gone / I suppose I sink like a stone”).
Ed Sheeran's appearance with Luke Combs has inevitably sparked rumours that the ‘Shape Of You’ hitmaker is turning his attention towards a new country-leaning project.
He previously surprised the O2 Arena crowd at the UK's C2C Festival 2022 by emerging during Luke Combs’ headlining set, with the two megastars linking up for a special rendition of Sheeran's ‘Dive’.
We're keeping our fingers tightly crossed that Sheeran and Combs’ heartwarming friendship blooms into a full-length collaborative album in the not-so-distant future.
For more on the 2023 ACM Awards, see below: