Little Big Town's Phillip Sweet Tests Positive for COVID, Will Not Join Band at 2021 ACM Awards

"Philly's not feeling good. We might as well break the news, he's got the COVID," Little Big Town band member Jimi Westbrook said

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Little Big Town will be without a member at the ACM Awards on Sunday.

The band announced that Phillip Sweet was diagnosed with COVID recently during an interview on Audacy. "Well, Philly's not feeling good. We might as well break the news, he's got the COVID," said Jimi Westbrook. "He seems to be holding off the really bad stuff, just a little not feeling great."

Lead singer Karen Fairchild added, "Over the hump today, he's hoping. ... He is, unfortunately, so sad and missing out on this whole ACM week. But he'll be back soon."

Little Big Town, who is nominated for group of the year, is set to perform their latest "Wine, Beer, Whiskey" on Broadway during the 2021 ACM Awards broadcast.

Joking about who will replace Sweet, 47, for the show, Westbrook said, "We auditioned about 50 people, it's a trio," as Kimberly Schlapman quipped about bringing in Sweet's "gazillionaire" lookalike Richard Branson.

During the interview, Fairchild also shared who she will be wearing for the awards show. "I'm wearing Stella McCartney," she said. "We have two fabulous dresses for Kimberly and it's really a toss-up. She's got to wear both of them eventually. But I think she's wearing Carolina Herrera. But we might flip a coin, we'll see. Sometimes in the moment, we just go, 'We should do this.' "

And Schlapman joked, "And sometimes in the moment we go, 'You shouldn't have had that last biscuit. You're gonna have to wear this dress.' You know how that is."

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Leading the list of nominees this year are Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton with six each. Trailing closely behind is Lambert with five nominations, while Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett earned four nods each.

Also for the first time, every nominated song for single of the year features a woman (Lambert, Morris, Gabby Barrett, Carly Pearce and Ingrid Andress).

Performances will be taking place across various Nashville venues, including the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium, The Bluebird Cafe, Station Inn, Bridge Building and on Broadway.

The 2021 ACM Awards will air live on April 18 from 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+.

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