Little Big Town will be down a man at the 2021 ACM Awards, as singer Phillip Sweet has tested positive for COVID-19.

The rest of the group, including Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook and Kimberly Schlapman, tell Taste of Country Nights that he's recovering, but not well enough to be in public. He'd also have to pass COVID-19 testing protocol ahead of Sunday's (April 18) ACM Awards.

"He's doing okay, but he won't be able to be on the show with us," Fairchild shares. "He's not feeling great, but he's doing okay."

Schlapman says Sweet is in the band's thoughts, and Westbrook says they "check on him all the time." Schlapman even brought him chicken and dumplings as he works to get well (left on his doorstep, of course).

"So he's probably cured!" Westbrook jokes.

Little Big Town are nominated in the Vocal Group of the Year category and scheduled to sing their current single, "Wine, Beer, Whiskey," on Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville. The song is from their Grammy-nominated Nightfall album (2020).

Last March, LBT were touring that album when Fairchild says she fell ill before the start of the pandemic in America. It was diagnosed as the flu, but many of her symptoms were similar to coronavirus symptoms.

"We were all up in New York for a while when that stuff was walking around and we didn't know it," offers Westbrook.

Schlapman also shares that she also tested positive for COVID-19 last fall.

Luke Bryan previously pulled out of the 2021 ACM Awards after testing positive for COVID-19. His coronavirus status also demanded that he be cut from at least one episode of American Idol. The Entertainer of the Year nominee says he's feeling well now, but it's not clear how quickly he'll be able to return to live television.

Little Big Town's horn-driven "Wine, Beer, Whiskey" is inside the Top 40 on country radio airplay charts. It has consistently been inside the Top 30 on digital song sales charts since its release to radio.

After relocating from Las Vegas to Nashville in 2020 out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACM Awards are back in Music City in 2021. As showrunners did last year, they're spreading this year's event out across iconic venues (the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe), though a few performances, including LBT's, will take place elsewhere. They'll be following national, state and local guidelines related to the pandemic, as well as additional, self-imposed safety measures.

The 2021 ACM Awards will begin at 8PM ET and will air live on CBS and be available to stream on Paramount+; sign up for the streaming service here.

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2021 ACM Nomination Snubs and Surprises

Carrie Underwood is a snub, while Kane Brown is a surprise. An argument could be made for an overhaul to Song or Single of the Year categories, while one country male must have woken up on Friday morning (Feb. 26) and thought, "Well, isn't that something?"

Here is a list of nine ACM snubs and surprises, based on fan response and Taste of Country staff opinion.

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