Special Lifting Lives Moment Will Benefit the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center To Be Broadcast Live on the 46th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS® SUNDAY, APRIL 3 ON CBS

Presented by Julianne Hough and Chris Young

ENCINO, CA (March 28, 2011) – Chart-topping country music star Darius Rucker and ACM Lifting Lives® are partnering for a once-in-a-lifetime musical event to benefit the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC). For the first time performing together, twenty-five ACM Lifting Lives music campers with developmental disabilities will join Rucker on the ACM Awards stage to perform "Music from the Heart," a song the campers wrote collectively last summer with ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp songwriters Brett James and Chris Young. The special moment will be performed during the 46th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, to be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 (8:00-11:00 PM LIVE ET/ DELAYED PT) on the CBS Television Network.

James has created a new arrangement of the song, customized for this never-before-seen performance. Young, along with Music Camp friend, country singer and star of the upcoming remake of the classical movie musical Footloose, Julianne Hough, will introduce Rucker and the 2011 Lifting Lives Music Camp moment to viewers.

The special performance will support the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, whose mission is to facilitate discoveries and best practices that make positive differences in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The VKC has hosted a music camp for people with Williams Syndrome, Autism and other developmental disabilities for six years, and this past summer, ACM Lifting Lives sponsored the camp for the first time. Being so touched by the experience, the Academy has sought to do more for those with developmental disabilities ever since.

ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. For the third consecutive year, ACM Lifting Lives will partner with an artist and a benefiting charity to create a very special moment on the stage of the ACM Awards. Last year, ACM Lifting Lives raised funds and awareness for Stand Up To Cancer from downloads and direct donations as a result of Toby Keith's performance "Cryin' For Me (Wayman's Song)" with Dave Koz in memory of fellow musician Wayman Tisdale on the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Viewers will be given the option to make a donation of their choice to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center by dialing 1-888-9-LIFTING or may make a $5 donation by texting DREAM to 27722. All proceeds will benefit the VKC's mission and research to improve the lives of young adults with developmental disabilities. Donations may also be made online at www.acmliftinglives.org or www.kc.vanderbilt.edu.

"People with disabilities often have rare abilities, and in some cases those abilities involve a special talent or affinity for music," said Rucker. "I am honored to join ACM Lifting Lives and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to highlight how music can better the lives of young people with developmental disabilities on country music's biggest night."

"The need is huge," said Dr. Elisabeth Dykens, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Director. "One in five children has a lifelong developmental disability, and 20 percent of American families have a family member with a disability. Vanderbilt Kennedy Center researchers, clinicians and educators are at work every day of every week on discoveries and best practices. We're so grateful to ACM Lifting Lives for this moment of great generosity that will allow us to help even more families."

"The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is an amazing place. Here, people and families across the country who are affected by developmental disabilities can benefit from world-class science and find understanding, companionship, and hope," said Erin Spahn, Executive Director ACM Lifting Lives. "Our goal is to shine a light on the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center so that viewers will know that they or their loved one are not alone. They may even have a future beyond their wildest dreams, just like the men and women who will make up the choir behind Darius at the ACM Awards."

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 46th ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Orly Adelson and R.A. Clark are executive producers. Barry Adelman is producer, and Bob Bardo is the executive in charge of production. Bob Romeo is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music. For more information, please visit www.acmcountry.com.

About ACM Lifting Lives
ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Each year, ACM Lifting Lives provides grants to music therapy and music education programs. Other giving includes serving members of the country music community who face unexpected medical or financial hardship through the Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund and partnering with artists to improve lives through music. Since 2009, the ACM Lifting Lives on-stage moment has raised over $200,000 for designated charities. Downloads and direct donations of Trace Adkins' performance on the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, and Toby Keith's performance on the 45th annual telecast, raised funds and awareness for Wounded Warrior Project and Stand Up To Cancer respectively. For more information, please visit www.LiftingLives.org.

About Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
Located at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development has been transforming the lives of children and adults with disabilities through innovative research, services and training for 45 years. It is a national Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center and a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Nearly 200 researchers and clinicians representing over 20 departments of Vanderbilt University and its medical center bring their expertise to understand how humans develop and find solutions to developmental challenges. Developmental disorders addressed include autism, Down syndrome and other genetic syndromes, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, ADHD, depression and other mental health conditions.