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Chris Stapleton & Dua Lipa Perform Surprise Duet at 2024 ACM Awards Ahead of New Collaboration

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The ACM Awards has kept a big surprise under wraps: Not only did Chris Stapleton perform, but he was joined by Dua Lipa on the stage to premiere a new duet on Thursday (May 16). Plus, the pair are planning to release the collaboration together very soon, sources on site at the awards at Ford Theater at the Star in Frisco, Texas, tell Billboard.

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The performance opened with a glamorous Lipa on stage for “Think I’m in Love With You” off the country star’s Higher, a total surprise to all the audience members who were expecting to see just Stapleton. Later, the country crooner entered stage right with guitar in tow, and the pair traded sultry lyrics over a disco-infused slow jam.

“Perhaps we needed time to listen to our hearts,” Lipa sang, dancing along to Stapleton’s riffs. “And there you are. We’ve come so far together. You are the power over me. You are the light I wanna see.”

Reps for Lipa and Stapleton did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.

The news certainly comes as a surprise, given that the “Levitating” artist’s new album Radical Optimism arrived only a couple weeks ago with no country influences to speak of. It recently debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, where Stapleton’s staunchly country album Higher debuted at No. 3 in November.

Stapleton is nominated for a number of awards at this year’s ceremony — which is hosted by Reba McEntire and produced by Dick Clark Productions — including entertainer of the year, male artist of the year, album of the year and artist-songwriter of the year.

Both stars are set to headline October’s Austin City Limits music festival, which will also see performances from Carin León, Reneé Rapp, Foster The People, Kehlani, Teddy Swims, Benson Boone, CAAMP, Dominic Fike, The Marías, Jungle, Dom Dolla, Chappell Roan, Porter Robinson, Fletcher and more.

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