Why Cam Will Burn the House Down at The Academy of Country Music Awards

Gregory E. Miller
Cam, country music awards
Mat Hayward/GettyImages

When you tune in to a country music telecast, there’s a good chance you’ll hear songs from the stalwarts—Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church. Those favorites will all flaunt their skills at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards, but the show will also welcome new blood to the stage: up-and-comer Cam—no last name necessary.

The rising star stormed onto the charts in 2015 with her smash single “Burning House,” and her performance of the ballad at the ACMs will mark the first time the 31-year-old California native has ever performed at an awards show. “I remember thinking that people who were nominated are, like, famous country singers,” Cam says. “Now all of a sudden I’m part of the TV show.”

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Last year the then-unknown singer did attend the ACMs, albeit with significantly less fanfare. “I ended up sitting in a spot where you couldn’t really see much of anything,” she admits with a laugh. She’ll have no such trouble this time around. With four nods, she’s the most nominated woman of the night. While one of those nominations is for her transfixing music video featuring, of course, a burning house, don’t expect too much spectacle from her performance. “It’s not going to be fireworks,” she says. “It’s a sparse, acoustic song, [so] it’s going to be a real intimate moment with me.”

It could also be the buzziest part of the ceremony. “The song sort of came out of nowhere,” she says, noting country radio’s preference for up-tempo jams. “I think that’s what will happen on the awards show too.”

Academy of Country Music Awards, Sunday, April 3  8/7c, CBS