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The night after the ACM Awards show on May 17, many country stars will be staying in Las Vegas for one more night, to tape the ACM's 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on May 18. The concert will feature Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood and some surprise guests. The two-hour special will look back on the career achievements of artists who have earned the Merle Haggard Award, which honors artists who have won in the Top New Male/Female Vocalist and/or Duo/Group category, Top Male/Female Vocalist and/or Duo/Group category, and the Entertainer of the Year category. The award is named in honor of Merle because he is the first artist to win all three trophies. Eligible performers include Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, Mickey Gilley, Merle Haggard and Barbara Mandrell. The special will air in December on CBS.

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