2021 ACM Awards: Maren Morris is the top winner

April 18, 2021

Maren Morris at the 56th Annual ACM Awards in Nashville (Photo by Brent Harrington/CBS)

The following is a press release from the Academy of Country Music:

Winners have been announced for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton hosted the show featuring three iconic Country Music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe, as well as performances at legendary locations across the city including the Station Inn, Bridge Building and on Broadway. The 56th ACM Awards was broadcast live on CBS and is available on demand on Paramount+.

The Academy’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year, was awarded to Luke Bryan making this his tenth win overall and third for Entertainer of the Year. This year’s 56th ACM Awards featured an all-star lineup of collaborations and memorable performances featuring 25 performances, 31 artists, and 31 hit songs. 

Show performance highlights included: 
●      Kicking off the show, Miranda Lambert and Elle King rolled up to the Grand Ole Opry House in style, wearing fringe-laced black leather motorcycle jackets and taking over the stage with the world television premiere of their party anthem, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”

●      Chris Young and Kane Brown rocked the Ryman stage with their hometown anthem “Famous Friends.” 

●      Thomas Rhett performed “Country Again” and followed up with the premiere of “What’s Your Country Song.”

●      Chris Stapleton performed “Maggie’s Song” and was joined on The Bluebird Cafe stage by Miranda Lambert.

●      Married artists, Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd sang, “Chasing After You,” for their first duet together and Hurd’s television award show performance debut.


●      Lady A rocked Nashville’s Bridge Building with their song “Like a Lady,” and Ashley McBryde performed “Martha Divine.

●      Jimmie Allen was surprised by Brad Paisley for a duet of “Freedom Was a Highway,” while New Female Artist of the Year Gabby Barrett performed her single “The Good Ones” from the intimate Bluebird Cafe.

●      Dierks Bentley and duo The War and Treaty performed U2’s poignant classic “Pride (In The Name of Love)” at The Station Inn.

●      Introduced by the legendary Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood performed a medley from her new album of gospel hymns, “My Savior,” starting with “Amazing Grace” and featuring a duet with CeCe Winans to sing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” To finish the set, they were joined by the Belmont University Choir for “How Great Thou Art.”

●      Eric Church gave an energetic performance of his song “Bunch Of Nothing” at the Ryman. 

●      Dan + Shay debuted their latest release “Glad You Exist” from the Bluebird Cafe with a smooth acoustic ballad performance.

●      Backed by a socially-distanced string orchestra, Luke Combs gave a passionate performance of “Forever After All” from the Grand Ole Opry House.

●      Most nominated and awarded ACM Artist, Miranda Lambert also performed and played along with her guitar to “In His Arms” with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.

●      Kenny Chesney returned to the ACM Awards stage for the world television premiere of “Knowing You.”

●      The Academy also paid tribute to the lives lost in the Country community during the past year.

●      Alan Jackson performed two back-to-back hits, a special mashup of “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” and “You’ll Always Be My Baby.”

●      Blake Shelton celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first single “Austin,” and followed up with a performance of his latest single “Minimum Wage.”

●      Following their double win with Single of the Year Award and Music Event of the Year, Carly Pearce and Lee Brice performed their collaborated song “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

●      56th ACM Awards host, Mickey Guyton gave a soulful performance of “Hold On” from the Grand Ole Opry House.

●      Following his fellow host, 56th ACM Awards host, Keith Urban lit up the Grand Ole Opry House stage with a high energy set “Tumbleweed.” 

●      Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney gave a touching performance of “half of my hometown” to honor their shared hometown of Knoxville, TN.

●      Little Big Town gave a dynamic, sleek drumline performance on Broadway of “Wine, Beer, Whiskey.”

●      After performing, “I’m Not For Everyone,” at the Ryman, Brothers Osborne closed out the show with a heart thumping performance of “Dead Man’s Curve.”

Winner Highlights of the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards:


●      Maren Morris won Female Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “The Bones.” Morris now has six ACM Award career wins, making this her second Female Artist of the Year  win and a first category win for Song of the Year, awarding her both artist and songwriter credits. Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz each received songwriter credits.

●      Thomas Rhett won Male Artist of the Year, marking his third win, eighth win overall.

●      Chris Stapleton won Album of the Year, with an additional win for producer for “Starting Over.” Stapleton has had twelve ACM wins overall.

●      Old Dominion won Group of the Year, making this their fourth consecutive win.

●      Dan + Shay won Duo of the Year, making this their third consecutive win, fifth win overall. 

●      Previously announced, Jimmie Allen won New Male Artist of the Year marking his first ACM Award win and the first Black artist to win within the category. 

●      Gabby Barrett won New Female Artist of the Year. This marks Barrett’s first ACM Award win. 

●      Carly Pearce and Lee Brice won Single of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” already winning Music Event of the Year for their collaboration this past week. This marks Pearce’s first time wins in two separate categories, and Brice’s third win for Single of the Year making this his seventh overall ACM Award win. 

●      Kane Brown won his first ACM Award in Video of the Year category for “Worldwide Beautiful.” Brown is the first Black solo artist to win Video of the Year. 

●      The late producer busbee was awarded posthumously with Single of the Year and Music Event of the Year.

Tonight’s presenters included Ingrid Andress, Blanco Brown, Amy Grant, Leslie Jordan, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker and Clay Walker.

During the live telecast, ACM Lifting Lives® the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music® featured special bumpers which included the National Museum of African American Music during Black History Month to learn more about Country Music’s roots, check out the moment here. Jimmie Allen, Chrissy Metz, Kip Moore and Tenille Townes sat down with Ashley Eicher to discuss how the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund has and continues to support music industry professionals who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, watch here. ACM, Ad Council and COVID Collaborative along with Eric Church, Ashley McBryde, Darius Rucker were featured in a COVID-19 vaccine PSA as part of the national campaign, “It’s Up to You,” to emphasize the important role education about COVID-19 vaccinations plays in returning to live music here. Additionally, Dolly Parton was also featured in a vaccine PSA hereOfficial 56th ACM Awards Playlist: Stream for a Cause initiative to benefit the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund is available on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube Music.

Studio Recording Awards and Songwriter of the Year will be announced at this year’s ACM Honors, more information to be announced in coming weeks.  

For a complete list of past and present wins and nominations, please visit ACMcountry.com and search the ACM Awards Database located on the Homepage. To watch performances, visit ACMcountry.com. Official 56th ACM Awards sponsors include 1000 Stories® Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wine, Ford, Security Benefit and T-Mobile. Getty Images is the official photographer for the Academy of Country Music Awards and photos can be accessed at GettyImages.com.

The health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners involved in the ACM Awards is the number one priority. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by Dick Clark Productions and the Academy of Country Music.

For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the free ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

About the Academy of Country Music Awards

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry. The show was produced for television by Dick Clark Productions was broadcast live on Sunday, April 18, 2021 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and was available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

Following is the full list of winners in the 12 categories voted on by Academy members:

*=winner

MAIN AWARDS

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Luke Bryan*
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris*
Carly Pearce

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett*
Chris Stapleton

DUO OF THE YEAR
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

GROUP OF THE YEAR
Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion*
The Cadillac Three
The Highwomen

NEW FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ingrid Andress
Tenille Arts
Gabby Barrett*
Mickey Guyton
Caylee Hammack

NEW MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jimmie Allen*
Travis Denning
HARDY
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Born Here Live Here Die Here – Luke Bryan
Producers: Jeff Stevens, Jody Stevens
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

Mixtape Vol. 1 – Kane Brown
Producers: Andrew Goldstein, Charlie Handsome, Dann Huff, Lindsay Rimes
Record Label: RCA Nashville

Never Will – Ashley McBryde
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

Skeletons – Brothers Osborne
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: EMI Records Nashville

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton*
Producers: Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb
Record Label: Mercury Nashville

SINGLE OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville

I Hope – Gabby Barrett
Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

I Hope You’re Happy Now – Carly Pearce & Lee Brice*
Producers: busbee
Record Label: Big Machine Records / Curb Records

More Hearts Than Mine – Ingrid Andress
Producers: Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

The Bones – Maren Morris
Producer: Greg Kurstin
Record Label: Columbia Nashville

SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Songwriter(s): Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby
Publishers: Emileson Songs; Little Louder Songs; Pink Dog Publishing; Songs of Universal, INC; Sony ATV Tree Publishing; Wrucke for You Publishing

One Night Standards – Ashley McBryde
Songwriter(s): Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally
Publishers: Canned Biscuit Songs; Smackworks Music; Smack Blue, LLC; Smackstreet Music; Tempo Investments; Warner Geo Met Ric Music; Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp

Some People Do – Old Dominion
Songwriter(s): Jesse Frasure, Matt Ramsey, Thomas Rhett, Shane McAnally
Publishers: Carrot Seed Songs; EMI Blackwood Music INC; Smackville Music; Songs of ROC Nation; Teremitry Rhythm House Music; Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp; Smack Hits; Tempo Investments; Warner Gro Met Ric Music

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
Songwriter(s): Chris Stapleton, Mike Henderson
Publishers: I Wrote These Songs; Straight Six Music; WC Music Corp

The Bones – Maren Morris*
Songwriter(s): Jimmy Robbins, Maren Morris, Laura Veltz
Publishers: Big Machine Music, LLC; Extraordinary Alien Publishing; International Dog Music; Oh Denise Publishing; Round Hill Songs; Warner-Tamerlane
Publishing Corp.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

Better Than We Found It – Maren Morris
Director: Gabrielle Woodland
Producers: Sarah Kunin, Jennifer Pepke

Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Director: Trey Fanjoy
Producer: Heather Levenstone

Gone – Dierks Bentley
Directors: Wes Edwards, Ed Pryor, Travis Nicholson, Running Bear and Sam Siske, with animation by Skylar Wilson
Producer: David Garcia

Hallelujah – Carrie Underwood and John Legend
Director: Randee St. Nicholas
Producer: Greg Wells

Worldwide Beautiful – Kane Brown*
Director: Alex Alvga
Producer: Christen Pinkston

MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR (Tie Within Category Increased Nominees) [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Be A Light – Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban
Producer: Dann Huff
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

Does To Me – Luke Combs featuring Eric Church
Producer: Scott Moffatt
Record Label: River House Artists/Columbia Nashville

I Hope You’re Happy Now – Carly Pearce & Lee Brice*
Producer: busbee
Record Label: Big Machine Records / Curb Records

Nobody But You – Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

One Beer – HARDY featuring Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson
Producers: Derek Wells, Joey Moi
Record Label: Big Loud Records

One Too Many – Keith Urban, P!nk
Producers: Cutfather, Dan McCarroll, Keith Urban, PhD
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

2021 ACM Awards: performers announced

April 5, 2021

The following is a press release from the Academy of Country Music, CBS and Dick Clark Productions:

CBS, The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions announced today the full superstar performance lineup for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards, airing live on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.

The artists include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Ryan Hurd, Jack Ingram, Alan Jackson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Jon Randall, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, The War and Treaty, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Cece Winans and Chris Young.

Over 30 performances from more than 25 artists will take place from three iconic Country Music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. Additional details on the exciting performances including unprecedented collaborations and surprising moments will be announced in the coming weeks.

Hosted by 15-time ACM Award winner Keith Urban and New Female Artist of the Year nominee Mickey Guyton, the 56th ACM Awards honor and showcase the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music. Official 56th ACM Awards sponsors include 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wine, Ford, Security Benefit and T-Mobile.

The health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners involved in the ACM Awards is the number one priority. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by dick clark productions and the Academy of Country Music.

For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

About the Academy of Country Music Awards(TM)

The 56th 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. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

April 13, 2021 UPDATE:

CBS, The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions announced today the exciting collaborations and must-see moments that will take center stage at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. Hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, the 56th ACM Awards will air live on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

The 56th ACM Awards will feature an unprecedented number of world television premiere performances, including Elle King and Miranda Lambert opening the show with “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”; Dierks Bentley performing U2’s poignant classic “Pride (In The Name of Love)” with husband and wife duo The War and Treaty; Brothers Osborne (“I’m Not For Everyone”); Kenny Chesney (“Knowing You”); Eric Church (“Bunch Of Nothing”); Luke Combs (“Forever After All”); Dan + Shay (“Glad You Exist”); Mickey Guyton (“Hold On”); Alan Jackson with “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and a special mashup for “Drive (For Daddy Gene)”; Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall (“In His Arms”); Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd (“Chasing After You”); Thomas Rhett premiering “What’s Your Country Song” while also performing “Country Again”; Blake Shelton celebrating the 20th Anniversary of his first hit single “Austin” as well as “Minimum Wage”; Chris Stapleton (“Maggie’s Song”); and Chris Young and Kane Brown (“Famous Friends”).

Additional powerful collaborations include Carly Pearce and Lee Brice duetting on “I Hope You’re Happy Now”; Carrie Underwood performing a medley from her new album of gospel hymns, My Savior, which will also feature a duet with CeCe Winans; and Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney performing together for “half of my hometown.”

Also, it was announced today that Lady A will join the lineup with recently revealed New Male Artist of the Year Jimmie Allen and New Female Artist of the Year Gabby Barrett, who will all perform on this year’s show. Previously announced performers include Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde and Keith Urban. Additional details on these performances, this year’s presenters and more will be announced in the coming days.

The unforgettable evening showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music will take place from three iconic Country Music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe and also feature performances at legendary locations across the city including the Station Inn, Bridge Building and on Broadway.

2021 ACM Awards: Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton are the top nominees

February 26, 2021

Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

The following is a press release from the Academy of Country Music:

The Academy of Country Music®, Dick Clark Productions, and CBS announced today the nominations for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards, honoring the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry. The 56th ACM Awards® will broadcast live from three iconic country music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ upcoming global streaming service.

Kelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne appeared live today on “CBS This Morning” to announce this year’s ACM Award nominees for Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Duo of the Year, Group of the Year and Single of the Year. “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Rachel Smith announced additional nominees on ETonline.com.

Reigning Female Artist of the Year Maren Morris receives six nominations, with “The Bones” nominated for both Song of the Year and Single of the Year. Maren Morris receives an additional nod for songwriter of “The Bones,” her first time receiving a nomination both as an artist and songwriter for Song of the Year. Maren Morris is also a nominee for Female Artist of the Year, marking the 5th time she has been nominated in this category, and for Music Video of the Year for the first time. In addition, Morris is a nominee for Group of the Year alongside The Highwomen.

Chris Stapleton receives six nominations, including his third nomination for Entertainer of the Year. In addition, Chris Stapleton is a nominee for Male Artist of the Year, an award he was nominated for five times prior and won twice. Stapleton also receives a nod for Song of the Year as both songwriter and artist, for Album of the Year as artist and producer.

Miranda Lambert continues her streak as the most nominated female artist in Academy history with 68 lifetime nominations. Lambert is a five-time nominee for the 56th ACM Awards, with four nominations for “Bluebird.” “Bluebird” is nominated for Single of the Year, Video of the Year, and Song of the Year. Lambert received an additional nomination as songwriter. In addition, Lambert receives her 15th nomination for Female Artist of the Year, a category she’s won nine times.

For the first time in ACM Awards history, four Black artists are nominated for awards in a single year including Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton and John Legend.

Producer Jay Joyce receives four nominations, including two Album of the Year nominations for Ashley McBryde’s “Never Will” and Brothers Osborne’s “Skeletons.”

Every Single of the Year nomination features a female artist, and this was the first nomination in this category for three of the six nominees: Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress, and Gabby Barrett.

Ashley McBryde receives four nominations, including her first for Album of the Year.

Reigning Entertainer of the Year Thomas Rhett receives four nominations, including his second nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

Reigning Male Artist of the Year Luke Combs is a nominee for Entertainer of the Year and Male Artist of the Year, and first-time nominee for Music Event of the Year for his duet with Eric Church on “Does to Me.” In addition to Music Event of the Year, Eric Church is also a nominee for Entertainer of the Year and Male Artist of the Year.

Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton are both nominees for Entertainer of the Year. A win for either artist in that category will also clinch the coveted Triple Crown Award, which consists of an Entertainer of the Year win, plus wins in an act’s respective New Artist (male, female, or duo or group) and Artist (male, female, duo or group) categories.

Ingrid Andress receives three nominations, including her second nomination for New Female Artist of the Year and her first nomination for Single of the Year, with an additional nomination as producer.

HARDY receives three nominations for Songwriter of the Year, New Male Artist of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson are also nominated alongside HARDY for Music Event of the Year for “One Beer,” marking Devin Dawson’s first nomination in the category and Lauren Alaina’s second.

Producer Dann Huff receives three nominations, including his 11th nomination for Producer of the Year.

Reigning Group of the Year, Old Dominion, receives two nominations, including their 6th nomination in the Group of the Year category. Band member Matthew Ramsey receives an additional nomination as songwriter for “Some People Do.”

Carly Pearce receives three nominations, including her first for Single of the Year and Music Event of the Year for her collaboration with Lee Brice on “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” and her first for Female Artist of the Year.

55th ACM Awards host Keith Urban is a double nominee in the Music Event of the Year Category for his collaboration with Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, and Chris Tomlin in “Be A Light” and for his duet with P!nk in “One Too Many.” Urban receives an additional nomination for Producer of “One Too Many.” P!nk’s nomination in this category also marks the singer’s first ACM Award nomination.

Gabby Barrett receives two nominations, including her second nod as New Female Artist of the Year and first for Single of the Year.

Brothers Osborne receives two nominations, including their first for Album of the Year.
Dierks Bentley receives two nominations, including his sixth nod for Video of the Year and seventh nod for Male of the Year.

Kane Brown earns his first ever nominations in the Album of the Year category for “Mixtape Vol. 1” and Video of the Year for “Worldwide Beautiful.”

Luke Bryan receives two nominations, including his ninth nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

Producer busbee receives two posthumous nominations for Music Event and Single of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

Jimmie Allen received his second nod for New Male Artist of the Year.

On the heels of her history-making performance from the 55th ACM Awards in 2020,

Mickey Guyton receives her second New Female Artist of the Year nomination.

John Legend receives his first-ever ACM Awards nomination for Video of the Year for his duet with Carrie Underwood on “Hallelujah,” while Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton received a nomination for Music Event of the Year for their duet, “Nobody But You,” marking Gwen Stefani’s first ACM Award nomination.

Overall, this year’s nominations include 14 artists and industry creators receiving their first-ever ACM Awards nominations: Tenille Arts, Spencer Cullum, Travis Denning, Kris Donegan, Alicia Enstrom, Jason Hall, Gena Johnson, John Legend, P!nk, Steve Mackey, Gwen Stefani, Benmont Tench, Chris Tomlin and Kristin Wilkinson.

Following is the full list of nominees for the Main Awards and Studio Recording Awards categories.

MAIN AWARDS

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris
Carly Pearce

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton

DUO OF THE YEAR
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

GROUP OF THE YEAR
Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
The Cadillac Three
The Highwomen

NEW FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ingrid Andress
Tenille Arts
Gabby Barrett
Mickey Guyton
Caylee Hammack

NEW MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jimmie Allen
Travis Denning
HARDY
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Born Here Live Here Die Here – Luke Bryan
Producers: Jeff Stevens, Jody Stevens
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

Mixtape Vol. 1 – Kane Brown
Producers: Andrew Goldstein, Charlie Handsome, Dann Huff, Lindsay Rimes
Record Label: RCA Nashville

Never Will – Ashley McBryde
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

Skeletons – Brothers Osborne
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: EMI Records Nashville

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb
Record Label: Mercury Nashville

SINGLE OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville

I Hope – Gabby Barrett
Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

I Hope You’re Happy Now – Carly Pearce & Lee Brice
Producers: busbee
Record Label: Big Machine Records / Curb Records

More Hearts Than Mine – Ingrid Andress
Producers: Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

The Bones – Maren Morris
Producer: Greg Kurstin
Record Label: Columbia Nashville

SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Songwriter(s): Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby
Publishers: Emileson Songs; Little Louder Songs; Pink Dog Publishing; Songs of Universal, INC; Sony ATV Tree Publishing; Wrucke for You Publishing

One Night Standards – Ashley McBryde
Songwriter(s): Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally
Publishers: Canned Biscuit Songs; Smackworks Music; Smack Blue, LLC; Smackstreet Music; Tempo Investments; Warner Geo Met Ric Music; Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp

Some People Do – Old Dominion
Songwriter(s): Jesse Frasure, Matt Ramsey, Thomas Rhett, Shane McAnally
Publishers: Carrot Seed Songs; EMI Blackwood Music INC; Smackville Music; Songs of ROC Nation; Teremitry Rhythm House Music; Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp; Smack Hits; Tempo Investments; Warner Gro Met Ric Music

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
Songwriter(s): Chris Stapleton, Mike Henderson
Publishers: I Wrote These Songs; Straight Six Music; WC Music Corp

The Bones – Maren Morris
Songwriter(s): Jimmy Robbins, Maren Morris, Laura Veltz
Publishers: Big Machine Music, LLC; Extraordinary Alien Publishing; International Dog Music; Oh Denise Publishing; Round Hill Songs; Warner-Tamerlane
Publishing Corp.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

Better Than We Found It – Maren Morris
Director: Gabrielle Woodland
Producers: Sarah Kunin, Jennifer Pepke

Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Director: Trey Fanjoy
Producer: Heather Levenstone

Gone – Dierks Bentley
Directors: Wes Edwards, Ed Pryor, Travis Nicholson, Running Bear and Sam Siske, with animation by Skylar Wilson
Producer: David Garcia

Hallelujah – Carrie Underwood and John Legend
Director: Randee St. Nicholas
Producer: Greg Wells

Worldwide Beautiful – Kane Brown
Director: Alex Alvga
Producer: Christen Pinkston

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR*(Off Camera Award)
Ashley Gorley
Michael Hardy
Hillary Lindsey
Shane McAnally
Josh Osborne

MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR (Tie Within Category Increased Nominees) [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

Be A Light – Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban
Producer: Dann Huff
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

Does To Me – Luke Combs featuring Eric Church
Producer: Scott Moffatt
Record Label: River House Artists/Columbia Nashville

I Hope You’re Happy Now – Carly Pearce & Lee Brice
Producer: busbee
Record Label: Big Machine Records / Curb Records

Nobody But You – Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

One Beer – HARDY featuring Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson
Producers: Derek Wells, Joey Moi
Record Label: Big Loud Records

One Too Many – Keith Urban, P!nk
Producers: Cutfather, Dan McCarroll, Keith Urban, PhD
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jarrod Travis Cure
Mark Hill
Tony Lucido
Steve Mackey
Glenn Worf

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR
Fred Eltringham
Evan Hutchings
Derek Mixon
Jerry Roe
Aaron Sterling

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
J.T. Corenflos
Kris Donegan
Jedd Hughes
Ilya Toshinskiy
Derek Wells

PIANO/KEYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Dave Cohen
David Dorn
Charlie Judge
Mike Rojas
Benmont Tench

SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT PLAYER OF THE YEAR (Tie Within Category Increased Nominees)
Alicia Enstrom
Jim Hoke
Danny Rader
Mickey Raphael
Ilya Toshinskiy
Kristin Wilkinson

STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Spencer Cullum
Dan Dugmore
Mike Johnson
Russ Pahl
Justin Schipper

AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Jeff Balding
Jason Hall
Gena Johnson
Vance Powell
F. Reid Shippen

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Buddy Cannon
Dave Cobb
Dann Huff
Jay Joyce
Joey Moi

IMPORTANT NOTES: Awards counts for artists reflect categories in which they have been recognized as individuals or as part of their duo or group. In some cases, an artist may receive more than one nomination, which factors into their official count.

Award recipients in each category are noted above parenthetically in the Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, Video of the Year and Music Event of the Year.

The 2019 Industry Awards and the 2019 and 2020 Studio Recording Awards will be presented to recipients at ACM Honors™, a special event held annually in August at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

The 56th ACM Awards®, honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music, will feature exciting performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more to be announced in the coming months.

The health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners involved in the ACM Awards is the number one priority. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by Dick Clark Productions and the Academy of Country Music.

For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

About the Academy of Country Music Awards™

The 56th 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 broadcast LIVE on Sunday, April 18, 2021 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ upcoming global streaming service. R.A. Clark, Amy Thurlow, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

NOMINATION FAST FACTS

56TH ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™ NOMINEES

**Awards presented in 2021 are for works produced in the calendar year 2020**

TOP ARTIST NOMINEE FAST FACTS

This year’s leading nominees are Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris, each with SIX ACM Award nominations.

Maren Morris receives SIX nominations, including her first for Song of the Year with an additional nomination as songwriter, and her first for Video of the Year.

Miranda Lambert, the most nominated female artist in ACM history, receives FIVE nominations, including her 15th nomination for Female Artist of the Year.

Ashley McBryde receives FOUR nominations, including her first for Album of the Year.
Reigning Entertainer of the Year Thomas Rhett receives FOUR nominations, including his second nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

Carly Pearce receives THREE nominations, including her first for Single of the Year and Music Event of the Year for her collaboration with Lee Brice on “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” and her first for Female Artist of the Year.

Ingrid Andress receives THREE nominations, including her second nomination for New Female Artist of the Year and her first nomination for Single of the Year, receiving an additional nomination as producer.

HARDY receives THREE nominations for Songwriter of the Year, New Male Artist of the Year, and Music Event of the Year.

Luke Bryan receives TWO nominations, including his ninth nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

Kane Brown receives TWO nominations, including his first for Video of the Year and Album of the Year.

PRODUCER NOMINEE FAST FACTS

Producer Jay Joyce receives FOUR nominations, including two Album of the Year nominations for Ashley McBryde’s “Never Will” and Brothers Osborne’s “Skeletons.”

Producer Dann Huff receives THREE nominations, including his 11th nomination for Producer of the Year.

Producer busbee receives TWO posthumous nominations for Music Event and Single of the Year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”

MORE

For the first time in ACM Awards history, four Black artists are nominated for Awards in a single year including Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton and John Legend.

For the first time in history, every Single of the Year nomination features a female artist, and this was the first nomination in this category for three of the six nominees. Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress and Gabby Barrett.

Chris Stapleton receives SIX nominations, including his third nomination for Entertainer of the Year. In addition, Stapleton is a nominee for Male Artist of the Year, an Award he was nominated for five times prior and won twice. Stapleton also receives a nod for Song of the Year as both songwriter and artist, for Album of the Year as artist and producer, and for Music Video of the Year.

Reigning Female Artist of the Year Maren Morris receives SIX nominations, with “The Bones” nominated for both Song of the Year and Single of the Year. Morris receives an additional nod for songwriter of “The Bones,” her first time receiving a nomination for Song of the Year both as an artist and songwriter. Morris is also a nominee for Female Artist of the Year, marking the fifth time she has been nominated in this category, and a first-time nominee for Music Video of the Year. In addition, Morris is nominated for Group of the Year alongside The Highwomen.

Miranda Lambert continues her streak as the most nominated female artist in Academy history with 68 lifetime nominations. Lambert receives FIVE total nominations for the 56th ACM Awards, with four nominations for “Bluebird.” “Bluebird” is nominated for Single of the Year, Video of the Year, and Song of the Year. Lambert receives an additional nomination as songwriter. In addition, Lambert receives her 15th nomination for Female Artist of the Year, a category she previously won nine times prior.

55th ACM Awards host Keith Urban is a double nominee in the Music Event of the Year Category for his collaboration with Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, and Chris Tomlin in “Be A Light,” and for his duet with P!NK in “One Too Many.” Urban receives an additional nomination for Producer of “One Too Many.” P!NK’s nomination in this category mark’s the singer’s first ACM Award nomination.

Reigning Male Artist of the Year Luke Combs is a nominee for Entertainer of the Year and Male Artist of the Year, and receives his first nomination for Music Event of the Year for his duet with Eric Church on “Does to Me.” In addition to Music Event of the Year, Eric Church receives nominations for Entertainer of the Year and Male Artist of the Year.

HARDY receives THREE nominations for Songwriter of the Year, New Male Artist of the Year, and Music Event of the Year. Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson are nominees alongside HARDY for Music Event of the Year for “One Beer,” marking Dawson’s first nomination in the category and Alaina’s second.

Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton are both nominees for Entertainer of the Year. A win for either artist in that category will also clinch the coveted Triple Crown Award.
Reigning Group of the Year, Old Dominion, receives TWO nominations, including their sixth nomination in the Group of the Year category. Band member Matthew Ramsey receives an additional nomination as songwriter for “Some People Do.”

Lady A receives a nomination for Group of the Year, with singer Hillary Scott receiving an additional nomination for Music Event of the Year with “Be A Light.”

Gabby Barrett receives TWO nominations, including her second nod as New Female Artist of the Year and first for Single of the Year.

Dierks Bentley receives TWO nominations, including his sixth nod for Video of the Year and seventh nod for Male of the Year.

Brothers Osborne receives TWO nominations, including their first for Album of the Year.

On the heels of her history-making performance from the 55th ACM Awards in 2020, Mickey Guytonreceives her second New Female Artist of the Year nomination.
Jimmie Allen receives his second nod for New Male Artist of the Year.

Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton received a nomination for Music Event of the Year for their duet, “Nobody But You,” marking Stefani’s first ACM Award nomination.

John Legend received his first-ever ACM Awards nomination for Video of the Year for his duet with Carrie Underwood on “Hallelujah.”

Brooks & Dunn continue their streak as the most nominated Duo in Academy history with 64 lifetime nominations.

The Cadillac Three receives their first nomination for Group of the Year.

Nominations include 14 artists and industry creators receiving their first-ever ACM Awards nominations. Tenille Arts, Spencer Cullum, Travis Denning, Kris Donegan, Alicia Enstrom, Jason Hall, Gena Johnson, John Legend, P!nk, Steve Mackey, Gwen Stefani, Benmont Tench, Chris Tomlin and Kristin Wilkinson.

2020 CMA Awards: Maren Morris is the top winner; Luke Combs and Eric Church also win big

October 11, 2020

by Carla Hay

With three prizes, Maren Morris was the biggest winner at the 54th annual CMA Awards, which were presented at Nashville’s Music City Center on November 11, 2020. ABC had the U.S. telecast of the ceremony, which was hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker. Morris received the awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, while her hit “The Bones” was named Song of the Year and Single of the Year.

Other big winners were Eric Church (who was named Entertainer of the Year) and Luke Combs, who won the prizes for Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year (for “What You See Is What You Get”).

Miranda Lambert, who went into the ceremony with the most nominations (seven) and ended up winning one CMA Award: Music Video of the Year, for “Bluebird.” Other winners of the 2020 CMA Awards included Old Dominion (Vocal Group of the Year); Dan + Shay (Vocal Duo of the Year); ; Morgan Wallen (New Artist of the Year); and Carly Pearce and Lee Brice’s duet “I Hope You’re Happy Now” (Musical Event of the Year). Charley Pride received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Performers at the ceremony included Jimmie Allen; Ingrid Andress; Kelsea Ballerini; Gabby Barrett featuring Charlie Puth; Brothers Osborne; Eric Church; Luke Combs; Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber; Lambert; Little Big Town; Ashley McBryde; McEntire with Rucker; Maren Morris; Old Dominion; Jon Pardi; Carly Pearce with Charles Kelley; Rucker; Chris Stapleton Keith Urban; and Morgan Wallen. In addition, Thomas Rhett, McEntire and Chris Tomlin teamed up for a performance.

Presenters included Lauren Akins, Lauren Alaina, Dierks Bentley, Bobby Bones, Charles Esten, Sara Evans, Taylor Hill, Jake Owen, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Cece Winans

The 54th Annual CMA Awards was a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton was the executive producer. Alan Carter was the director, and David Wild was the head writer.  

The following is a complete list of winners and nominees for the 2020 CMA Awards:

*=winner

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Eric Church*
Luke Combs 
Miranda Lambert
Carrie Underwood 
Keith Urban

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Award goes to artist(s), producer(s), and mix engineer

“10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay (with Justin Bieber) (Producer: Dan Smyers; Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano)

“Beer Never Broke My Heart” – Luke Combs (Producer: Scott Moffatt; Mix Engineer: Jim Cooley)

“Bluebird” – Miranda Lambert Producer: Jay Joyce; Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce)

“The Bones” – Maren Morris (Producer: Greg Kurstin; Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin)*

“I Hope” – Gabby Barrett Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale; Mix Engineer: Buckley Miller)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Award goes to artist and producer(s)

“Heartache Medication” – Jon Pardi (Producers: Bart Butler, Ryan Gore, Jon Pardi)

“Never Will” – Ashley McBryde (Producers: Jay Joyce, John Peets)

“Old Dominion” – Old Dominion (Producers: Shane McAnally, Old Dominion)

“What You See Is What You Get” – Luke Combs (Producer: Scott Moffatt)*

“Wildcard” – Miranda Lambert (Producer: Jay Joyce)


SONG OF THE YEAR
Award goes to songwriters

“Bluebird” (Songwriters: Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert)

“The Bones” (Songwriters: Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz)*

“Even Though I’m Leaving” (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Ray Fulcher)

“I Hope You’re Happy Now” (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Randy Montana, Carly Pearce, Jonathan Singleton)

“More Hearts Than Mine” (Songwriters: Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis, Derrick Southerland)


FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde 
Maren Morris*
Kacey Musgraves 
Carrie Underwood

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Eric Church
Luke Combs*
Thomas Rhett 
Chris Stapleton 
Keith Urban

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Lady A
Little Big Town 
Midland 
Old Dominion*
Rascal Flatts

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

Brooks & Dunn 
Brothers Osborne 
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line 
Maddie & Tae

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
Award goes to artists and producer(s)

“10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber (Producer: Dan Smyers)

“Be A Light” – Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban (Producer: Dann Huff)

“The Bones” – Maren Morris with Hozier (Producer: Greg Kurstin)

“Fooled Around And Fell In Love” – Miranda Lambert feat. Maren Morris, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes & Caylee Hammack (Producer: Jay Joyce)

“I Hope You’re Happy Now” – Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Producer: Busbee)*

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR

Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle*
Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
Rob McNelley, Guitar
Ilya Toshinskiy, Guitar
Derek Wells, Guitar

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Award goes to artist(s) and director

“10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber (Director: Patrick Tracy)

“Bluebird” – Miranda Lambert (Director: Trey Fanjoy)*

“Homemade” –Jake Owen (Director: Justin Clough)

“I Hope You’re Happy Now” – Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Director: Sam Siske)

“Second One To Know” – Chris Stapleton (Director: David Coleman)

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Jimmie Allen 
Ingrid Andress 
Gabby Barrett 
Carly Pearce 
Morgan Wallen*

FINALISTS FOR BROADCAST PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR (by market size):
National 

“American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) – Westwood One
“The Blair Garner Show” (Blair Garner and “Off Eric” Garner) – Westwood One
“CMT After Midnite” (Cody Alan) – Premiere Networks
“Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One*
“The Mayor of Music Row” (Charlie Monk) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio

 
Major Market

“Angie Ward” – WUBL, Atlanta, Ga. 
“Chris Carr & Company” (Chris Carr, Kia Becht, and McKaila Granning) – KEEY, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.*
“Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz. 
“Fitz in the Morning” (Cory Fitzner) – KNUC, Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. 
“Paul Schadt & Sarah Lee in the Morning with Producer Geof” (Paul Schadt, Sarah Lee and Geof Knight) – WKKT, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, N.C.-S.C.

 
Large Market

“The Big Dave Show (“Big Dave” Chandler, Chelsie Shinkle, Jason Statt and Ashley Hempfling) – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio*
“Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS, Indianapolis, Ind. 
“Lexi & Banks” (“Lexi” Elena Abatgis and “Banks” Jared Danielson) – KUBL, Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, Utah
“Obie & Ashley” (“Obie” Obed Diaz and Ashley Morrison) – WWKA, Orlando, Fla. 
“Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL, Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.

 
Medium Market

“Brent Michaels” – KUZZ, Bakersfield, Calif. 
“Clay & Company” (Clay Moden, Rob Banks, and Val Townsend) – WYRK, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.*
“Kenn McCloud” – KUZZ, Bakersfield, Calif. 
“Scott and Sarah in the Morning” (Scott Wynn and Sarah Kay) – WQMX, Akron, Ohio
“Steve & Gina In The Morning” (Steve Lundy and Gina Melton) – KXKT, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.- Iowa


Small Market

“Big Rick In The Morning” (“Big Rick” Daniels) – WGGC, Bowling Green, Ky.
“Bobby & Steve (and Mandi!)” (Bobby Cook, Steve Schwetman and Mandi Turner) – WKYQ, Paducah, Ky. 
“Brent and Candy – The Cat Pak Morning Show” (Brent Lane and Candy Cullerton) – WYCT, Pensacola, Fla. 
“Officer Don & DeAnn” (“Officer Don” Evans and DeAnn Stephens) – WBUL, Lexington-Fayette, Ky.*
“Steve And Jessica Mornings” (Steve Waters and Jessica Cash) – WFLS, Fredericksburg, Va.

FINALISTS FOR RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (by market size):

Major Market

KNUC – Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.
KSCS – Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas*
KYGO – Denver-Boulder, Colo. 
WXTU – Philadelphia, Pa. 
WYCD – Detroit, Mich. 

Large Market

KNCI – Sacramento, Calif.*
KUBL – Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, Utah
WMIL – Milwaukee-Racine, Wis. 
WUBE – Cincinnati, Ohio
WWKA – Orlando, Fla. 

Medium Market

KATM – Modesto, Calif. 
WHKO – Dayton, Ohio 
WQMX – Akron, Ohio
WUSY – Chattanooga, Tenn.*
WXCY – Wilmington, Del.

Small Market

KKNU – Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
WBYT – South Bend, Ind.
WKXC – Augusta, Ga.*
WXBQ – Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.
WXFL – Florence-Muscle Shoals, Ala.

2020 ACM Awards: Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood win first ACM Awards tie for Entertainer of the Year

September 16, 2020

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and CBS:

Winners have been announced for the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, a night of heart and hits live from Nashville. Fifteen-time ACM Award-winning artist Keith Urban hosted the show, featuring three iconic Nashville venues, including Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. For the first time in ACM Awards history, Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood tied for the Academy’s highest honor Entertainer of the Year Award – the first ever tie in that category. This is Rhett’s first win in the Entertainer of the Year category, and Underwood’s third win, making her the most awarded female in the ACM Entertainer of the Year category.
 
Old Dominion won Group of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and won their first Song of the Year Award for “One Man Band” with Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi each receiving an additional win as songwriters. This marks two overall wins as a group, with Ramsey, Rosen and Tursi leading the night with three individual wins, each. Miranda Lambert continues her reign as most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history with 35 wins, after taking home this year’s trophy in Music Event of the Year category for “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Dan + Shay won Duo of the Year marking their second win in a row in the category.
 
The evening continued with more first-time wins including Luke Combs earning his first Male Artist of the Year Award and his first-ever win for Album of the Year for “What You See Is What You Get.” Maren Morris won her first Female Artist of the Year Award and her first Music Event of the Year for “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” alongside Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack & Elle King. Blake Shelton won Single of the Year Award for “God’s Country” making this his first-ever win in the category.
 
Previously announced, Riley Green won New Male Artist of the Year and Tenille Townes won New Female Artist of the Year. Townes also won her first Music Event of the Year and both performed on the telecast and are featured on the newly released “On The Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives® Edition)” single, Willie Nelson’s timeless hit, featuring the ACM New Artist Nominees Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, and Morgan Wallen, joined by Nelson. Produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins, the single is available via Warner Music Nashville across all digital platforms and can be heard on Country radio now (LISTEN HERE). Proceeds from the single will benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to be disbursed to individuals in the Country Music community who are currently in need of pandemic relief assistance.
 
This year’s 55th ACM Awards featured an all-star lineup of collaborations and memorable performances featuring 24 performances, including 41 hit songs. The awards telecast kicked off with Entertainer of the Year nominees performing a medley of each of their greatest hits. Luke Bryan performed “Rain Is A Good Thing,” Eric Church performed “Drink In My Hand,” Luke Combs performed “When It Rains It Pours,” Thomas Rhett performed “It Goes Like This” and Carrie Underwood performed “Before He Cheats.”
 
Global superstar and two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift, returned to the ACM Awards stage for the first time in seven years with a world premiere performance of “Betty” off her record-breaking new album “Folklore. “The 55th ACM Awards host Keith Urban performed the world television premiere of his new single, “One Too Many” with international pop icon P!NK, from  Urban’s new album out September 18, 2020: “Speed of Now.” Mickey Guyton made her solo ACM Award performance debut with “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” featuring surprise guest Urban on piano. Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani performed their latest single “Happy Anywhere.” Eric Church opened his performance with “Ragged Old Flag” a poem read by Johnny Cash which led into his single “Stick That in Your Country Song.”
 
In celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, newly crowned three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year winner, Carrie Underwood, honored trailblazing female Opry members by performing a medley of songs including Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” Barbara Mandrell’s “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing,” Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” and Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That.”
 
Additional performances included first-time ACM Awards performer Jimmie Allen (“Make Me Want To”); Kelsea Ballerini (“Hole in the Bottle”), Gabby Barrett (“I Hope”); Kane Brown (“Worldwide Beautiful”); Luke Bryan (“One Margarita”); Luke Combs (“Better Together”); Dan + Shay (“I Should Probably Go To Bed”); Florida Georgia Line (“I Love My Country”); Riley Green (“I Wish Grandpas Never Died”); Miranda Lambert (“Bluebird”) featuring songwriters Natalie Hemby & Luke Dick; Tim McGraw (“I Called Mama”); Maren Morris (“To Hell & Back”); Old Dominion (Medley of “One Man Band,” “Written in the Sand,” “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” “Break Up With Him,” “Snapback,” “Song For Another Time,” “Hotel Key” & “Make It Sweet”); Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi (“Beer Can’t Fix”); Tenille Townes (“Somebody’s Daughter”); and Morgan Wallen (“Whiskey Glasses”). Presenters included Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black, ACM National Radio Personality of the Year winner Bobby Bones, Cam, Darius Rucker, Runaway June and CeCe Winans. Rucker also gave a sneak peek of the National Museum of African American Music, scheduled to open this Fall in Downtown Nashville.
 
For the first time in the show’s history, the 55th ACM Awards took place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic Country Music venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. Artists who performed from the Ryman include Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Riley Green, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi, and Tenille Townes. Performances from the Grand Ole Opry House included Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Mickey Guyton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Morgan Wallen. Artists at The Bluebird Cafe included Jimmie Allen, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert featuring songwriters Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, and Tim McGraw. Fans also enjoyed a virtual collaboration by Keith Urban and P!NK as well as a virtual Bluebird Cafe performance with Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani. Multi-ACM Award winning artist Trisha Yearwood delivered a special performance from the Opry House of “I’ll Carry You Home” from her critically acclaimed album “Every Girl” for the In Memoriam, paying tribute to those we have lost in the country music industry.
 
Following is the list of winners and nominees of the 55th ACM Awards:

*=winner

MAIN AWARDS

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett* (tie)
Carrie Underwood* (tie)

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris*
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Dierks Bentley
Luke Combs*
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

DUO OF THE YEAR
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

GROUP OF THE YEAR
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Midland
Old Dominion*
The Highwomen

NEW FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ingrid Andress
Gabby Barrett
Lindsay Ell
Caylee Hammack
Tenille Townes*

NEW MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jordan Davis
Russell Dickerson
Riley Green*
Cody Johnson
Morgan Wallen

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
Center Point Road – Thomas Rhett
Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Thomas Rhett, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

Girl – Maren Morris
Producers: busbee, Greg Kurstin, Maren Morris
Record Label: Columbia Nashville

Heartache Medication – Jon Pardi
Producers: Bart Butler, Ryan Gore, Jon Pardi
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs*
Producer: Scott Moffatt*
Record Label: River House Artists/Columbia Nashville*

Wildcard – Miranda Lambert
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville

SINGLE OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
God’s Country – Blake Shelton*
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Record Label: Warner Bros. (Nashville)

One Man Band – Old Dominion
Producer: Shane McAnally
Record Label: RCA Records Nashville

Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves
Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves, Daniel Tashian
Record Label: MCA Nashville

Rumor – Lee Brice
Producers: Lee Brice, Dan Frizsell, Kyle Jacobs, Jon Stone
Record Label: Curb Records

What If I Never Get Over You – Lady Antebellum
Producer: Dann Huff
Record Label: BMLG Records

SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
10,000 Hours – Dan + Shay Featuring Justin Bieber
Songwriters: Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Jessie Jo Dillon, Shay Mooney, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers
Publishers: Beats and Banjos (ASCAP), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) / Shay Mooney Music (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) / Big Ass Pile Of Dimes Music (BMI), Big Machine Music (BMI) / Buckeye 26 (ASCAP), Jreynmusic (ASCAP), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP) / Bieber Time Publishing (ASCAP), Universal Music (ASCAP) / Poo B Z Inc. (ASCAP), BMG Gold Songs (ASCAP).

Girl Goin’ Nowhere – Ashley McBryde
Songwriters: Jeremy Bussey, Ashley McBryde
Publishers: Songs of Song Factory (BMI) / Universal Tunes (SESAC).
God’s Country – Blake Shelton
Songwriters: Devin Dawson, Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt
Publishers: Relative Music Group (BMI), Administered by Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing (BMI) / WB Music Corp. / Georgia Song Vibez / We-volve Music (ASCAP) / Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. / Neon Cross Music (BMI).

One Man Band – Old Dominion*
Songwriters: Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi
Publishers: WB Music Corp/Smackville Music/Smack Songs LLC (ASCAP) adm by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing. Rezsongs/Reehits World/Smacktown Music, a division of Smack Blue, LLC/Unfair Entertainment (ASCAP) adm. by Me Gusta Music. We’re Really Doin’ It Publishing (ASCAP) adm by Words & Music. Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Smackville Music/Smack Songs LLC (ASCAP) adm. by Kobalt Songs Music Publishing.

Some of It – Eric Church
Songwriters: Eric Church, Clint Daniels, Jeff Hyde, Bobby Pinson
Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing/Longer and Louder Music, admin. by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC; Mammaw’s Fried Okra Music/Little Louder Songs, admin. by Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing; New Writers Of Sea Gayle Music, admin. by ClearBox Rights; New Writers Of Sea Gayle Music/Not A Track Guy Music, admin. by ClearBox Rights (BMI).

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]
10,000 Hours – Dan + Shay Featuring Justin Bieber
Director: Patrick Tracy
Producer: Christen Pinkston

God’s Country – Blake Shelton
Director: Sophie Muller
Producers: Jamie Amos, Patrick Kennedy

One Man Band – Old Dominion
Director: Mason Allen
Producer: Mason Allen

Remember You Young – Thomas Rhett*
Director: TK McKamy
Producer: Dan Atchison

Sugar Coat – Little Big Town
Directors: Alexa Kinigopoulos, Stephen Kinigopoulos
Producers: Wes Edwards, Carlo Glorioso, Angie Lorenz

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR *(Off Camera Award)
Ashley Gorley
Michael Hardy
Hillary Lindsey*
Shane McAnally
Josh Osborne

MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
10,000 Hours – Dan + Shay Featuring Justin Bieber
Producers: Dan Smyers
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

Dive Bar – Garth Brooks Featuring Blake Shelton
Producers: Garth Brooks
Record Label: Pearl Records, Inc.

Fooled Around and Fell in Love – Miranda Lambert Featuring Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack & Elle King*
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville

Old Town Road – Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
Producers: Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross, YoungKio
Record Label: Columbia Records

What Happens in a Small Town – Brantley Gilbert Featuring Lindsay Ell
Producer: Dann Huff
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

INDUSTRY AWARDS

(Winners are to be announced.)

CASINO OF THE YEAR – THEATER
The Colosseum at Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
The Joint: Tulsa – Tulsa, OK
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort – Mt. Pleasant, MI
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino – Las Vegas, NV
WinStar Global Event Center – Thackerville, OK

CASINO OF THE YEAR – ARENA
Mark G. Etess Arena – Atlantic City, NJ
MGM Grand Garden Arena – Las Vegas, NV
Sandia Amphitheater – Albuquerque, NM
Stir Concert Cove – Council Bluffs, IA
T Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NV

FAIR/RODEO OF THE YEAR
California Mid-State Fair – Paso Robles, CA
Cheyenne Frontier Days – Cheyenne, WY
Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – Houston, TX
Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul, MN
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo – San Antonio, TX

FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR
Boots and Hearts Music Festival – Oro-Medonte, OR
Stagecoach – Indio, CA
Tortuga Music Festival – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Watershed Festival – George, WA
Windy City Smokeout – Chicago, IL

CLUB OF THE YEAR
Billy Bob’s Texas – Fort Worth, TX
Coyote Joe’s – Charlotte, NC
Grizzly Rose – Denver, CO
Joe’s Live – Rosemont, IL
Losers Bar & Grill – Nashville, TN

THEATER OF THE YEAR
The Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
The Chicago Theatre – Chicago, IL
DeJoria Center – Salt Lake City, UT
Rialto Square Theatre – Joliet, IL
Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL

OUTDOOR VENUE OF THE YEAR
Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion – Gilford, NH
Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Innsbrook After Hours – Glen Allen, VA
Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
Rose Music Center – Huber Heights, OH
The Wharf at Orange Beach – Orange Beach, AL

ARENA OF THE YEAR
Infinite Energy Center – Duluth, GA
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA
Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, MI
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, FL

DON ROMEO TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR
Clay Campbell – Triangle Talent
Gary Osier – Gary Osier Presents
Gil Cunningham – Neste Live!
Kell Houston – Houston Productions
Nina Rojas – Neste Live!
Todd Boltin – Variety Attractions

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Adam Weiser – AEG Presents
Brian O’Connell – Live Nation
Jered Johnson – Pepper Productions
Stacy Vee – Messina Touring Group
Troy Vollhoffer – Premier Global Production

STUDIO RECORDING AWARDS

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Eli Beaird
Mike Brignardello
Tim Marks
Michael Rhodes
Jimmie Lee Sloas

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR
Fred Eltringham
Miles McPherson
Greg Morrow
Jerry Roe
Nir Zidkyahu

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tom Bukovac
Dann Huff
Rob McNelley
Adam Shoenfeld
Ilya Toshinskiy

PIANO/KEYBOARDS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Dorn
Tony Harrell
Charlie Judge
Tim Lauer
Gordon Mote
Mike Rojas

SPECIALTY INSTRUMENT(S) PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Stuart Duncan
Jenee Fleenor
Jim Hoke
Danny Rader
Joe Spivey
Charlie Worsham

STEEL GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Dan Dugamore
Paul Franklin
Josh Grange
Russ Pahl
Justin Schipper

AUDIO ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Chuck Ainlay
Jeff Balding
Tony Castle
Julian King
Steve Marcantonio
Justin Niebank

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
busbee
Buddy Cannon
Dann Huff
Michael Knox
Joey Moi

NATIONAL ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

(Winners were announced several days before the ceremony.)

Blair Garner, “Off Eric” Garner
The Blair Garner Show

Bobby Bones, Amy, Lunchbox, Eddie, Morgan, Ray*
The Bobby Bones Show

Charlie Chase, Lorianne Crook
The Crook & Chase Countdown

Buzz Brainard
The Music Row Happy Hour

Storme Warren, Mary Carlisle Callahan, Thomas Massad
The Storme Warren Show

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – MAJOR MARKET

Bud and Broadway
WIL-FM – St. Louis, MO

Kelly Ford in the Morning – Kelly Ford
WNSH-FM – New York, NY

Mason & Remy
WIL-FM – St. Louis, MO

The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister
– Matt McAllister, Emily Raines, Slow Joe Wallace
KKWF-FM – Seattle, WA

The Rob and Holly Show*
– Rob Stone, Holly Hutton
WYCD-FM – Detroit, MI

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – LARGE MARKET

Lexi and Banks
KUBL-FM – Salt Lake City, UT

Marty McFly
WSM-FM – Nashville, TN

Q Morning Crew with Mike and Janie
WQDR-FM – Raleigh, NC

Robyn & Roger in the Morning
CKRY-FM – Calgary, AB

The Big Dave Show – Big Dave, Chelsie, Statt, Ashley*
WUBE-FM – Cincinnati, OH

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM MARKET

Brent Michaels
KUZZ-AM/FM – Bakersfield, CA

Clay & Company*
WYRK-FM – Buffalo, NY

Kenn McCloud
KUZZ-AM/FM – Bakersfield, CA

Steve & Gina in the Morning
– Steve Lundy, Gina Melton
KXKT-FM – Omaha, NE

The Cowboy Kyle Show – Cowboy Kyle
WUSY-FM – Chattanooga, TN

ON-AIR PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR – SMALL MARKET

Adam & Jen in the Morning
KIOK-FM – Kennewick, WA

Ben & Arnie – Ben Butler, Arnie Andrews
WCOW-FM – Sparta, WI

Big Rick In The Morning – “Big” Rick Daniels
WGGC-FM – Bowling Green, KY

Scotty & Catryna in the Morning
– Scotty Cox, Catryna Craw
KCLR-FM – Columbia, MO

Steve & Jessica – Steve Waters, Jessica Cash*
WFLS-FM – Fredericksburg, VA

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – MAJOR MARKET

KAJA-FM – San Antonio, TX

KFRG-FM – San Bernardino, CA

KILT-FM – Houston, TX*

WNSH-FM – New York, NY

WSOC-FM – Charlotte, NC

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – LARGE MARKET

CKRY-FM – Calgary, AB

WDSY-FM – Pittsburgh, PA

WIRK-FM – West Palm Beach, FL

WMIL-FM – Milwaukee, WI

WUBE-FM – Cincinnati, OH*

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM MARKET

KATM-FM – Stockton, CA

KUZZ-AM/FM – Bakersfield, CA

KXKT-FM – Omaha, NE

WQMX-FM – Akron, OH

WUSY-FM – Chattanooga, TN*

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – SMALL MARKET

KKNU-FM – Eugene, OR

KTHK-FM – Idaho Falls, ID

WBYT-FM – South Bend, IN

WPAP-FM – Panama City, FL

WYCT-FM – Pensacola, FL*

2020 ACM Awards: performers announced


September 14, 2020

Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban at the 52nd Annual ACM Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on April 2, 2017. (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS)

The following is a press release from Academy of Country Music®, Dick Clark Productions and CBS:

Academy of Country Music, Dick Clark Productions and CBS today announced this year’s ACM Entertainer of the Year nominees Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood will kick off the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards with a can’t-miss performance featuring a medley of each of their greatest hits. Multiplatinum-selling artist CeCe Winans has been added as presenter. The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, a night of heart and hits live from Nashville, will be broadcast on Wednesday, September 16 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on CBS All Access.
 
For the first time in the show’s history, the awards will take place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic Country Music venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. As previously announced, the 55th ACM Awards will also feature performances by Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Riley Green, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi, Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, Tenille Townes, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban with P!NK, Morgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood. Joining the all-star lineup are presenters Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Bobby Bones, Cam, Darius Rucker and Runaway June.
 
For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.
 
About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 55th 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 broadcast LIVE on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on demand on CBS All Access. R.A. Clark, Amy Thurlow, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Linda Gierahn are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

Review: ‘Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story,’ starring Cyntoia Brown, Ellenette Brown, Kathryn Evans Sinback, Paul Bruno, Charles Bone and Georgina Mitchell

April 29, 2020

by Carla Hay

Cyntoia Brown and Charles Bone in “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story”

Directed by Daniel H. Birman

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in Tennessee, this true-crime documentary tells the story of biracial Cyntoia Brown, who was adopted by a working-class black family; was convicted in 2006 of murdering a prostitution customer when she was a teenager; and spent years in a legal system of white prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and psychiatrists.

Culture Clash: Brown and her lawyers filed appeals over the years to have her life sentence reduced, because she claimed that she killed out of self-defense and that she should not have been tried as an adult because the killing happened when she was 16.

Culture Audience: “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” will appeal mostly to people interested in true-crime cases that explore issues over how different legal standards should or should not be applied to criminal defendants who are under the age of 18.

Kathryn Evans Sinback and Cyntoia Brown in “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Filmed from 2004 to 2019, the true-crime documentary “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” (directed by Daniel H. Birman) makes it clear from the start that it’s on the side of Nashville native Cyntoia Brown. She shot a man to death in 2004, when she was 16, and was convicted of first-degree murder two years later. Brown claimed the killing was in self-defense.

Her case and its final outcome have received a lot of media attention, so there’s really not much suspense in watching this film, which chronicles her 15-year saga to have her life-in-prison sentence reduced. (And if people don’t know the final outcome of the case, the title of this documentary pretty much gives it away.)

The film (which unfolds in chronological order) includes interview footage from the beginning of Brown’s case in 2004, when she was arrested for murdering real-estate agent Johnny Allen, who hired her for a prostitution encounter in his home. Allen was shot in the back of his head, while lying in bed with his hands clasped in front of him. Brown said she shot him because he threatened her, and she has never wavered from that story in her legal proceedings.

The beginning of the film shows Brown interviewed in juvenile detention, while awaiting trial. The main source of contention in her case was the sentencing she faced if found guilty. Under Tennessee law at the time, an underage person convicted of first-degree murder would get either a prison sentence of life without parole or a prison sentence of 60 years with the possibility of parole after 51 years.

Kathryn Evans Sinback, who was a defense-attorney advocate for Brown from the beginning, fought vigorously to prevent Brown from being transferred from juvenile detention to an adult jail. She lost that battle, but the documentary shows how the psychiatric evaluations of Brown were crucial to her defense. As Evans Sinback says in the film, “My job is to show the judge that Cyntoia is worth saving.” Evans Sinback, who at the time had to represent juveniles in the juvenile court system, was removed from the case when Cyntoia was transferred to the adult court system.

With a lot of up-close access, the documentary shows Brown’s evaluation sessions with forensic psychiatrist William Bernet and forensic psychologist James Walker in the months before she goes to trial. One of her meetings with Walker includes a Robert’s Apperception Test, where a patient is shown a drawing or a picture and asked to tell what they think is the story behind the picture. Her stories, as shown in the film, involve a lot of negative thoughts about betrayal and mistrust.

The teenage Cyntoia Brown reveals in these evaluation sessions that mood swings are very common for her and that she gets angry when she thinks people are trying to control her or tell her what to do. Viewers also are taken inside the meetings that the defense lawyers have to prepare for the trial, which include discussing with Bernet and Walker the results of Brown’s psychiatric evaluations.

Both doctors say that Brown was a very troubled person, with a mindset full of chaos, anger and paranoia. The consensus was that Brown has a serious personality disorder that required therapy in a residential program. But she was on trial for first-degree murder, and this wasn’t a charge that she could get off the hook for with a light sentence.

How did Brown end up in this mess? Although it’s already been covered in her trial and in the media reports about the case, the documentary shows that Brown had a very dysfunctional background. Her biological mother, Georgina Mitchell, came from a family with a history of alcoholism, mental illness and suicidal acts. Mitchell, who also spent time in prison, got pregnant with Cyntoia at the age of 16.

In the documentary, Mitchell says that she abused alcohol, marijuana and crack cocaine during the pregnancy. She eventually gave up custody of Cyntoia, because she said she couldn’t handle being a single mother. While still a toddler, Cyntoia was fostered and later adopted by Ellenette Brown (a teacher) and Thomas Brown (a truck driver), who is not interviewed or mentioned in the documentary. It’s implied that Ellenette and Thomas Brown eventually got divorced.

The documentary shows that Mitchell didn’t come back into Cyntoia’s life until after Cyntoia was arrested. Part of the reason was because the defense needed information about Cyntoia’s biological family background to explain why Cyntoia turned out the way that she did. The film also shows Mitchell visiting with her own mother, Joan Warren, because Mitchell says that she wants prove to the filmmakers how “crazy” her mother is and how her mother knows how to “push her buttons.” The two women don’t get into any big arguments on camera, but it’s clear that they have a very tension-filled relationship.

Ellenette, the quintessential fiercely loyal mother, says in the documentary that Cyntoia began to rebel as a teenager. She was expelled from public school, and she was enrolled in an alternative school, where she ran away. Cyntoia eventually dropped out of school, and moved out of her parents’ home. In documentary interviews, Cyntoia admits to being a rebellious drug abuser in her teen years and that she sought the wrong kind of attention, particularly from men.

By the time she was 16 years old, when the crime happened, Cyntoia was living in a motel with what she describes in the documentary as her boyfriend-turned-pimp Gary McGlothen, also known as Kut-Throat or Kut, where they would spend most of their time “getting high and having sex.” Cyntoia says that he pressured her to start prostituting herself, which led to her encounter with Allen, who picked her up from the street and took her back to his place.

According to Cyntoia, it was very unusual for her to go to a customer’s home for a prostitution job, since most of what she did as a prostitute took place in motels. She claims that during the encounter with Allen, she was very nervous because no one else knew that she was there, and he intimidated her because he seemed to be very controlling. She says she got even more frightened when he showed her his guns, but she wasn’t frightened enough to leave, because she was hoping he would fall asleep.

And at one point, when they were in bed together, she claims that Allen reached for what she thought was one of his guns, and that’s when she shot him with a gun that she kept in her purse. Courtroom footage shows that assistant district attorneys Jeff Burke and Lisa A. Naylor put a lot of emphasis on the fact that Allen was shot in the back of the head and then robbed by Cyntoia, as proof that it was first-degree murder. Although Cyntoia never denied that she killed Allen, she and her attorneys couldn’t convince a jury that she acted in self-defense. The jury came back with the guilty verdict in just six hours.

One of the core issues of Cyntoia Brown’s appeals in her case was whether or not Tennessee’s laws were too harsh in how juveniles were judged and sentenced in first-degree murder trials. The documentary also mentions that at the time she was convicted of murder, underage children involved in prostitution were treated the same as adults accused of the same crimes, but the law was eventually changed to classify underage children involved in prostitution as victims of child sexual abuse and/or sex trafficking.

The documentary moves along at a deliberate and meticulous pace, showing the dates and locations of each segment of footage. A great deal of time is devoted to courtroom footage (cameras were allowed in the trial, appeals and parole hearings), as well as interviews with the defense attorneys that Cyntoia has had over the years. In addition to Evans Sinback, Cyntoia’s other defense attorneys who are interviewed include Wendy Tucker and Rich McGee (who were the defense attorneys during the trial) and post-trial attorneys Paul Bruno, Charles Bone and J. Houston Gordon.

One of the major arguments in the defense’s appeal was that Cyntoia’s criminal actions were largely because she had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), due to her biological mother’s abuse of alcohol while she was pregnant with Cyntoia. Studies have shown that FASD negatively affects judgment, and a high percentage of criminals have FASD. Cyntoia’s defense attorneys argued that this was crucial evidence that should have been introduced in her trial.

The documentary includes footage of forensic and criminal psychiatrist Richard Adler testifying during Cyntoia’s appeal that he examined her in 2011 and determined that she had FASD. The state of Tennessee countered with the argument that there was no medical proof (only the word of Cyntoia’s biological mother Mitchell) that Cyntoia was born with damaged health due to Mitchell’s alcohol abuse during the pregnancy.

If the conviction couldn’t be overturned, the defense team had the goal to get Cyntoia’s sentence reduced. The defense argued that Cyntoia, who had gotten a college education in prison, was a model prisoner who had greatly matured and had turned her life around. Cyntoia, her lawyers and many of her other supporters said that she was an example of someone who was rehabilitated and worthy of being let out of prison so that she could be a productive member of society.

A series of occurrences converged to create the circumstances that led to the final outcome of the case. First, and perhaps most importantly, after years of being locked up in prison, Cyntoia’s case got international media attention in 2017, when pop star Rihanna started a social-media campaign to get Cyntoia out of prison. The hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown went viral, and other celebrities began publicly supporting the cause, including rapper T.I. and reality TV star Kim Kardashian. These celebrity endorsements were the game-changing catalyst for the case moving forward.

Secondly, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was leaving office in 2019. He was under pressure to give Cyntoia Brown clemency, as a good-will gesture before leaving office. Whichever side you’re on, the documentary makes it clear that Haslam’s decision had a lot to do with the timing of him leaving office. It’s up to viewers to decide whether or not Haslam’s decision was a political strategy for any future career ambitions he might have.

And what about the dead victim in all of this focus on Cyntoia? The documentary gives less than two minutes of screen time to show Anna Whaley, a family friend of Allen’s, speaking at Cyntoia’s final parole hearing. Whaley says about Cyntoia: “I hope sincerely that God has transformed her life.” She adds, “Johnny’s life mattered.” It’s the only time that the documentary tries to portray Allen as a human being who had a life worth living.

Although the documentary is undoubtedly sympathetic to Cyntoia, it’s clear that her case greatly benefited from celebrities who endorsed her. And although it’s not mentioned at all in the film, you also have to wonder if a lot of people would have cared as much if Cyntoia weren’t an attractive, photogenic young woman. Preston Shipp, a former Tennessee appellate prosecutor who changed his mind about Cyntoia serving out her life sentence and testified on her behalf during a parole hearing, seems to almost have a mild crush on her, by calling her “luminous” in his testimony.

The reality is that for every Cyntoia Brown, there are numerous other people in similar circumstances who don’t have the benefit of media attention or celebrity advocates for their cases. The media and celebrity attention definitely fast-tracked the final outcome of the Cyntoia Brown case. Otherwise, she would probably still be in prison, and director Birman would still be filming this documentary.

Although “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” rightfully gives credit to the defense team that didn’t give up, the documentary could have been a little more honest (and more interesting) if it explored how celebrity connections to fame, power and wealth can profoundly affect the outcome of a criminal case. In that respect, Cyntoia Brown isn’t quite the underdog that the documentary wants her to be by the end of the film.

Netflix premiered “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” on April 29, 2020.

2020 ACM Awards: postponed show moves from Las Vegas to Nashville

April 27, 2020

ACM Awards

The following is a press release from the Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions:

The Academy of Country Music® and Dick Clark Productions announced today that the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will take place in Nashville, TN for the first time in the show’s 55-year history. In an unprecedented move, the 55th ACM AWARDS® will be the first awards show to broadcast from three iconic Country Music venues including the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. The announcement was made this morning during Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s daily press conference. Hosted by reigning ACM® Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM Award winner Keith Urban, the 55th ACM Awards will be broadcast on Wednesday, September 16 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and will stream live and on demand on CBS All Access.

“While we were disappointed to postpone our April show in Las Vegas, we couldn’t be more thrilled to host the rescheduled 55th ACM Awards in the home of Country Music for the first time in the Academy’s history,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “First and foremost, we want to ensure the safety of our artists and industry, and to ease the burdens of traveling large teams; therefore, we decided to bring the ACM Awards to them this September in Nashville. Now, more than ever, is the time to bring our community together to honor the best in our genre, and there is no more special place to do that than three of the most revered venues in Country Music – The Grand Ole Opry House, The Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. A huge thank you to these historic venues and to the state of Tennessee and city of Nashville for all of the support in making this a reality!”

“Tennessee is honored to be a part of this historic event,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “Showcasing the talent and musical heritage of our state is always a source of pride, and it couldn’t be more valuable than this year. On behalf of all Tennesseans, I want to thank the Academy of Country Music for bringing this event home.”

“Country music has been our voice and our companion through so many difficult times and now it is our comfort as we confront and defeat the coronavirus,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “I’m excited to join country music fans worldwide to celebrate with the Academy of Country Music and artists that uplift and inspire us all in these extraordinary times. And I look forward to the day when we can safely welcome visitors back to enjoy all that Music City has to offer, including over 160 live entertainment venues with the best country music shows in the world.”

“We are delighted to host the 55th ACM Awards and make history alongside the Academy of Country Music as the show comes to Nashville for the first time,” said Scott Bailey, President of Opry Entertainment Group. “We look forward to sharing this moment with our friends at The Bluebird Cafe and are pleased that fans will have the opportunity to experience the most famous stages in country music in such a unique way.”

As always, the health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners is of the utmost importance. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will continue to be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by Dick Clark Productions and the Academy of Country Music.

The 55th ACM Awards, honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in Country Music, will feature exciting performances, unprecedented collaborations, surprising moments and more to be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook, follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

As previously announced, the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards was originally scheduled to air on Sunday, April 5 and was postponed due to COVID-19. ACM Lifting Lives® the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music, created the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to assist individuals working in the Country Music industry who are suffering a financial crisis as a result of the pandemic. Since April 1, the Fund has contributed $1.4 million thanks to the generous support of the Academy’s corporate sponsors FirstNet, Built with AT&T, Amazon Music and other individuals. For more information about the Fund or to donate, visit ACMLiftingLives.org.

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 55th 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 broadcast LIVE on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 on the CBS Television Network, and will be available to stream live and on-demand on CBS All Access. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Amy Thurlow are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

Carrie Underwood announces she will no longer host the CMA Awards

December 30, 2019

by Carla Hay

Carrie Underwood at the 53rd Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Carrie Underwood decided to end 2019 with a surprising announcement: After 12 consecutive years of being a host of the Country Music Association Awards (which is televised in the U.S. on ABC), she will no longer emcee the show. Underwood began her CMA Awards hosting stint in 2008, with Brad Paisley as her co-host. Paisley co-hosted the show with Underwood until 2018. In 2019, Underwood hosted the show with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton.

On December 30, 2019, Underwood posted an Instagram message that read: “One of the highlights of 2019 and of my entire career was being on stage with the legends that are Reba and Dolly. I’m so proud that we could celebrate the incredible female artists that are part of the legacy of country music, past present and future, and I’m thankful for the huge audiences all over the world that tuned in to see it. It’s hard to believe that it was my 12th year hosting and I will always treasure every show, from the 11 that I was so lucky to do with my partner in crime and friend for life, Brad Paisley, to sharing the stage with two of my all-time heroes. I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone involved with the CMA Awards all these years. It’s hard to imagine topping what we have accomplished together, so I’ve decided that it’s time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!) to others that will cherish it and honor it as much as I do. I’ve got so many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.”

The Country Music Association responded Twitter: “We love you, Carrie! You’ll always be family to us. Thanks for 12 amazing years hosting the #CMAawards. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and beyond to help spread Country Music to fans around the world!”

Underwood has won nine CMA Awards so far, including five for Female Vocalist of the Year. Although she won the CMA Chairman’s Award in 2016, she has yet to win the top CMA prize of Entertainer of the Year, which she has been nominated for twice so far: in 2016 and in 2019. In 2019, she was nominated for three CMA Awards but didn’t win any.

Underwood ‘s first book, “Find Your Path,” will be published by Dey Street Books on March 3, 2020.

2019 CMA Awards: Garth Brooks, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Combs, Maren Morris among winners

November 13, 2019

by Carla Hay

Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton
Carrie Underwood (center) hosted the 53rd Annual CMA Awards with special guest hosts Reba McEntire (left) Dolly Parton (right) at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Garth Brooks, Kacey Musgrave, Luke Combs and Maren Morris were among the winners at the 53rd Annual CMA Awards, which were presented at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. Carrie Underwood, with special guest hosts Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton, emceed the show, which was telecast in the U.S. on ABC.

Music producer Greg Kurstin and Maren Morris at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Brooks was named Entertainer of the Year. Morris’ “Girl” won Album of the year. Musgraves took the prizes for Female Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year (for “Rainbow”). Combs won Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year, for co-writing “Beautiful Crazy.” All of them performed on the show.

The show opened with a groundbreaking medley led by Underwood, McEntire and Dolly Parton featuring Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Crystal Gayle, The Highwomen (comprised of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Morris and Amanda Shires), Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles, Tanya Tucker and Gretchen Wilson.

Runaway June, Ashley McBryde, Little Big Town, Carly Pearce and Maddie & Tae at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Another big collaboration was the supergroup of Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Runaway June.

Other performers included Kelsea Ballerini; Brooks & Dunn with Brothers Osborne; Underwood; Brooks with Blake Shelton; Dan + Shay; Musgraves with Willie Nelson, Lady Antebellum with Halsey; Old Dominion; Blake Shelton; Thomas Rhett; Eric Church; Miranda Lambert; McEntire; Parton with for King & Country and Zach Williams; Pink with Chris Stapleton; and Keith Urban.

Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Nelson’s performance was his first CMA Awards performance since 2012, when he received the inaugural CMA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kris Kristofferson received the 2019 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Chris Janson and John Osborne teamed up to perform Kristofferson’s classic “Me & Bobby McGee.”

Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Presenters included Bobby Bones, Blanco Brown, Hannah Brown, Deana Carter, Kristin Chenoweth, Janie Fricke, Jim Gaffigan,  Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, Midland, Craig Morgan, Jennifer Nettles, Madelaine Petsch, J.B. Smoove, Pam Tillis, Morgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood.

Luke Combs at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards was a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton was the executive producer, Alex Rudzinski was the director and David Wild was the head writer.

Garth Brooks at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, on November 13, 2019. (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

Country artists Carly Pearce and Michael Ray hosted the CMA Awards pre-telecast, where CMA Musician of the Year was presented to the winner. In addition, the CMA Music Video of the Year and CMA Musical Event of the Year winners were recapped, having been announced November 13, live on “Good Morning America.” The CMA Broadcast Awards winners were also recognized during the pre-telecast.

Here is the complete list of winners and nominees for the 2019 CMA Awards:

*= winner

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Garth Brooks*
  • Eric Church
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne

Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Arturo Buenahora, Jr.
Mix Engineer: F. Reid Shippen

  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris

Producer: Greg Kurstin
Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin

  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton*

Producer: Scott Hendricks*
Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank*

  • “Millionaire” – Chris Stapleton

Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

  • “Speechless” – Dan + Shay

Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks
Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artist and Producers

  • “Center Point Road” – Thomas Rhett

Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson

  • “Cry Pretty” – Carrie Underwood

Producers: David Garcia, Jim Jonsin, Carrie Underwood

  •  “Dan + Shay” – Dan + Shay

Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks

  • “Desperate Man” – Eric Church

Producers: Jay Joyce, Arturo Buenahora Jr.

  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris*

Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin*

SONG OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Songwriters

  • “Beautiful Crazy”*

Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford*

  • “GIRL”

Songwriters: Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin

  • “God’s Country”

Songwriters: Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy

  • “Rainbow”

Songwriters: Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves

  • “Tequila”

Songwriters: Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves*
  • Carrie Underwood

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs*
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion*
  • Zac Brown Band

 
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay*
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

 
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artists and Producer(s)

  • “All My Favorite People” – Maren Morris featuring Brothers Osborne

Producers: Maren Morris, busbee

  • “Brand New Man” – Brooks & Dunn (with Luke Combs)

Producer: Dann Huff

  • “Dive Bar” – Garth Brooks & Blake Shelton

Producer: Garth Brooks

  • “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus*

Producers: YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross*

  • “What Happens In A Small Town” – Brantley Gilbert & Lindsay Ell

Producer: Dann Huff
 
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle*
  • Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
  • Mac McAnally, Guitar
  • Ilya Toshinsky, Banjo/Guitar
  • Derek Wells, Guitar

 
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Award goes to Artist(s) and Director

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne

Director: Wes Edwards

  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris

Director: Dave Meyers

  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton

Director: Sophie Muller

  • “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves*

Director: Hannah Lux Davis*

  • “Some of It” – Eric Church

Director:  Reid Long

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Cody Johnson
  • Ashley McBryde*
  • Midland
  • Carly Pearce
  • Morgan Wallen