The Academy of Country Music was officially founded in 1964 in Los Angeles, California when performer Tommy Wiggins, songwriter Eddie Miller and club owners Mickey and Chris Christensen teamed up with other artists and industry executives to promote country music in the western 13 states and support California based country artists. In 1966, at the Hollywood Palladium, The Academy hosted its first official country music awards after three informal awards banquets at the Christensen’s Red Barrel Niteclub.
In its first official years, the Academy continued to expand and change, adding paid employees, changing its name from the Academy of Country and Western Music to the Academy of Country Music, and creating in 1968 the signature "hat" trophy, which to this day, after some modernization, is still handed out every year. Joining forces with dick clark productions in 1979, the ACM Awards moved to NBC and finally to CBS, where it remains today.
In 2003, the Awards show left Los Angeles and moved to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center where it remained until 2005. The show was then moved to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas from 2006 through 2014 before relocating to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The 50th ACM Awards broke the Guinness record for Most Attended Awards Show, boasting 70,252 fans in attendance. The Award show returned to the Las Vegas in 2016, taking over the MGM Grand Garden Arena once again, then moving to the newly built T-Mobile Arena in 2017, only to make its way back to the MGM Grand in 2018. The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will air LIVE on the CBS Television Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 5, 2020.