Home FeaturesNews 2021 ACM Awards: Nominations, Snubs and Surprises!

2021 ACM Awards: Nominations, Snubs and Surprises!

by Mallory Arbour
2021 ACM Awards

The nominations for the 2021 ACM Awards, which honour the biggest names and emergency talent in the country music industry, were announced on February 26.

Leading with the most nominations at six each, are Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton. Both are nominated in top categories including ‘Song of the Year’, and ‘Female’ or ‘Male Artist of the Year’.

Miranda Lambert follows with five nominations, including her 15th nomination for ‘Female Artist of the Year’ (she’s won nine times!) – making her the most nominations female artist in Academy history with 68 lifetime nominations. Ashley McBryde, Thomas Rhett and producer, Jay Joyce tie with four nods.

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 his duet with Carrie Underwood).

Also, of note: Legend, P!nk, Gwen Stefani, Tenille Arts, Spencer Cullum, Travis Denning, Kris Donegan, Alicia Enstrom, Jason Hall, Gena Johnson, Steve Mackey, Benmont Tench, Chris Tomlin and Kristin Wilkinson are all first-time ACM nominees.

Additionally, for the first time, every ‘Single of the Year’ nomination features a female artist – Lambert, Gabby Barrett, Carly Pearce (with Lee Brice), Ingrid Andress and Morris.

ACM CEO Damon Whiteside says, “We have come a long way when the five most focal singles of the year are female. When you figure there’s been so much discussion about the lack of females at radio and just the lack of female content and presence in general in the country music industry.”

Women, however, for the third time in four years, are absent from the coveted ‘Entertainer of the Year’ category. Rhett, who won in the category last year in a tie with Underwood, is nominated again this year with Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, and Stapleton.

Producer busbee, who passed away in 2019, was also recognised with two posthumous nominations for ‘Music Event’ and ‘Single of the Year’ for I Hope You’re Happy Now.

As for the snubs, Underwood didn’t receive a ‘Female Artist of the Year’ nomination for the first time since 2005. Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt and Tim McGraw both had new albums this year, and neither received a nod this year.

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will broadcast live from three iconic country music venues – the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, and The Bluebird Café on April 18.

Check out the complete list of nominees below:

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
Luke Combs
Eric Church
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
Born Here Live Here Die Here – Luke Bryan
Mixtape Vol. 1 – Kane Brown
Never Will – Ashley McBryde
Skeletons – Brothers Osborne
Starting Over – Chris Stapleton

Single of the Year
Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
I Hope – Gabby Barrett
I Hope You’re Happy Now – Carly Pearce & Lee Brice
More Hearts Than Mine – Ingrid Andress
The Bones – Maren Morris

Song of the Year
Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
One Night Standards – Ashley McBryde
Some People Do – Old Dominion
Starting Over – Chris Stapleton
The Bones – Maren Morris

Video of the Year
Better Than We Found It – Maren Morris
Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
Gone – Dierks Bentley
Hallelujah – Carrie Underwood and John Legend
Worldwide Beautiful – Kane Brown

Songwriter of the Year
Ashley Gorley
Michael Hardy
Hillary Lindsey
Shane McAnally
Josh Osborne

Music Event of the Year
“Be A Light” – Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban
“Does To Me” – Luke Combs feat. Eric Church
“I Hope You’re Happy Now” – Carly Pearce & Lee Brice
“Nobody But You” – Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani
“One Beer” – HARDY ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson
“One Too Many” – Keith Urban, P!nk


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