CamColeSwindellPhoto by Emma McIntyre from Getty Images

On Friday, April 13, the Academy of Country Music® debuted ACM Stories, Songs & Songs: A Songwriter’s Event Benefitting ACM Lifting Lives® at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as part of the 6th Annual ACM Party for a Cause®. Some of the proceeds were given to the ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable portion of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.

The show was hosted by Storme Warren and featured performances by Lee Brice, Little Big TownLori McKennaMidland, Jon Pardi, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell and 53rd ACM Awards® Songwriter of the Year nominees Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, plus surprise guests including CamKip Moore, and Liz Rose.

Rhett Akins was announced as the winner of this year’s ACM Songwriter of the Year award, which was presented to him by reigning Songwriter of the Year award winner Lori McKennaMidland was also presented with trophies for their previously announced ACM Award win for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year. Josh OsborneShane McAnally, and Rhett Akins were onstage for the surprise presentation.

An upscale evening modeled after an old-fashioned guitar pull, ACM Stories, Songs & Stars featured ACM Songwriter of the Year nominees – ranging from the most commercially successful to the most critically-acclaimed composers – alongside some of the biggest names in country music performing the songs they composed, telling the stories behind how those collaborations came together.