At some point on Thursday night, 2023 ACM Awards hosts Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will be flying blind.

The pair are teaming up for the first time to lead an awards show. Parton has hosted awards shows previously, but this will be the very first time for Brooks — something the two had fun with leading up to the show.

Related: Dolly Parton Eases Garth Brooks' First-Time Jitters In Cheeky ACM Awards Promo

"He's a gentleman, and I just think he's so talented," Parton tells Taste of Country.

  • The 2023 ACM Awards will stream on Amazon Prime (no membership required).
  • The show begins at 8PM ET.
  • Parton will also perform.

Brooks is also spontaneous, as anyone who has seen him live knows. It's difficult to imagine him being the "read the cue card" guy, and as they rehearsed for the May 11 livestream, Parton acknowledged that, saying she'll join him in that fun.

“Absolutely, I’m gonna go off script," she admits. "We really don’t need it. It’s nice to have guidelines, because you gotta know who is coming up next or if you’ve gotta go to commercial. But as far as us needing anything else in between, I’m sure we’ll wing it pretty good.”

Writers — the singer, actor and (once again) children's author says — keep them anchored. Having a co-host adds an extra challenge. Parton is used to performing solo, but knows she'll need to make room for Brooks.

“I wouldn’t call it nervous," she says when pressed for a temperature check. "You’re a little more apprehensive than you normally would be when you’re on your own."

To close the show, Parton will perform her new rock single, "World on Fire."

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