Ed Sheeran Goes Country as He Duets New Single ‘Life Goes On’ with Luke Combs at 2023 ACM Awards


Shortly after Luke Combs performed his own “Love You Anyway,” he joined Ed Sheeran to duet his latest single, which appears on his new album (pronounced “Subtract”)

Theo Wargo/Getty Images Ed Sheeran and Luke CombsTheo Wargo/Getty Images Ed Sheeran and Luke Combs

Theo Wargo/Getty Images Ed Sheeran and Luke Combs

They may come from different genres, but Ed Sheeran and Luke Combs sound pretty great together.

At the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, the British singer-songwriter performed his new song “Life Goes On” and was joined by the country star for a duet version — that was released following the show.

Right after Combs, 33, performed the hit “Love You Anyway” from his Gettin’ Old album, the camera turned to Sheeran, 32, who played guitar and sang “Life Goes On,” which is featured on his new album (pronounced “Subtract”). Midway through the acoustic rendition, Combs joined him to harmonize on the track.

Check out PEOPLE’s full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on country’s big night.

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After the duet, Sheeran told co-host Garth Brooks that he and Combs have been friends for five years. They previously performed together in March 2022, when the “Forever After All” performer was joined on stage by the Grammy winner to perform “Dive” from his album ÷ (pronounced “Divide”).

The “Forever After All” performer previously told The Bobby Bones Show that the pair first hung out at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Brentwood, Tennessee.

“Well, he’d hit me up, and was like, ‘Hey,’ you know it’s like, ‘Let’s hang out or whatever,’ and that’s where he told me he was,” said Combs in April 2022. “And I was like, ‘OK.’ So I’m on the way, and it’s like me and my wife and stuff, and I was like, ‘Hey man, just checking, we’re going here.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, yeah dude, we’re here, come on.’ So I get in there, and it’s like all of a sudden, dude, the people start coming up, coming up, coming up, and he’s like, ‘Dude, I’m really sorry, man. No one ever bothers me here, you know?'”

Related:Luke Combs Plans to Rebrand Iconic Nashville Venue in His Likeness — Inspired by His Hit ‘Hurricane’ (Exclusive)

Jason Kempin/Getty Nicole and Luke CombsJason Kempin/Getty Nicole and Luke Combs

Jason Kempin/Getty Nicole and Luke Combs

Earlier this week, Sheeran opened up to Billboard about his surprising love for country music and revealed that he’s even considered dipping his toe into the genre.

“I talk about this to my wife [Cherry Seaborn] all the time. I would love to transition into country,” said the “Thinking Out Loud” musician. “I love the culture of it, I just love the songwriting. It’s just like, brilliant songs.”

Elsewhere during the interview, he praised his duet partner: “Luke Combs could probably play a stadium in England. I think if he put on Wembley [Stadium] next summer, he could sell it.”

In a backstage chat with the Academy of Country Music Awards during rehearsals, Sheeran said “Life Goes On” was written about “dealing with loss.”

He went on to say that he’s “a massive fan” of country, and that he and Seaborn play it in their home “all day long.”

Jason Kempin/Getty Ed SheeranJason Kempin/Getty Ed Sheeran

Jason Kempin/Getty Ed Sheeran

Related:Ed Sheeran Found Not Liable in Copyright Lawsuit: ‘I Feel the Truth Was Heard and Believed’ (Exclusive)

“I’ve lived in Nashville all of 2013 and all of 2018,” Sheeran said. “It really left a lasting mark on me. I love country music, and I feel accepted here. It’s great.”

The star also revealed his connections to Brooks and his co-host Dolly Parton, explaining that he and his dad John got to meet the “Jolene” singer-songwriter at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in November, which he called “a really cool moment.”

Sheeran explained that Brooks’ country classics are often covered by other artists in England, so he’d “sort of inadvertently grown up listening to it.”

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards aired live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and streamed live exclusively on Prime Video.

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