Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan, co-hosts of the 2017 ACM Awards, kicked off the awards ceremony with a tribute to the late Chuck Berry. The two country superstars were joined on stage by Joe Walsh, and the three men sang "Johnny B. Goode," one of Berry's biggest hits.

"And for the man who influenced every form of music, including country, y'all give it up for Chuck Berry," Bryan told the crowd, already on its collective feet.

Berry was a Grammy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner, a member of the Blues Hall of Fame and one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His influence on rock music — and, really, music in general — can be summed up by a quip from the late John Lennon: “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’” Born on Oct. 18, 1926, in St. Louis, Mo., Berry died on March 18 of natural causes.

Before his collaboration with Bentley and Walsh, Bryan kicked off the 2017 ACM Awards by performing along with fellow Entertainer of the Year nominees Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban. Bentley, meanwhile, took the stage shortly after singing "Johnny B. Goode" to perform his current single, "Black." He will also perform "Flatliner" with Cole Swindell later in the broadcast.

Bentley is nominated for three ACM Awards, with Bryan nominated for Entertainer of the Year.

See Pics From 2017 ACM Awards Rehearsals, Pre-Show Interviews

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