Preview: 56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards!

On April 18th Nashville will once again host the Academy of Country Music Awards, just seven months after last years event. Take a look at the complete list of nominees!

Last year the ACM Awards ceremony was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and moved to Nashville from its usual home in Las Vegas. Music City hosted an event which captured the hearts of country music fans around the world as the show was broadcast from three iconic venues around the city; The Bluebird Cafe, the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House. Despite fans not being in attendance, many took to social media to applaud what organisers had done with the ceremony, as it showcased country music landmarks and the influence they have had on the genre throughout the years – the ACM’s had found a new home and were settling in well.

In February it was announced that the ACM Awards would once again follow this format for the 56th Awards show set to take place on April 18th. Though we are yet to hear who might perform, the nominations were announced by one of the leading ladies of the genre, Kelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne who are also basking in the success of their most recent album, Skeletons – which is nominated in the Album of the Year category. Leading the way with six nominations is Maren Morris; ‘The Bones’ is nominated for both Song of the year and Single of the Year. It signifies the first time that the reigning Female Artist of the Year – a title she seeks to retain, has been nominated as both an artist and songwriter. Morris is also nominated in the Group of the Year category as part of the super-group The Highwomen. Lining up alongside them in the stacked category is last years winners Old Dominion, The Cadillac Three who have yet to win at the ACM’s, Little Big Town and Lady A – who have triumphed in this category multiple times over the last few years.

Also boasting six nominations is Chris Stapleton. This is the third time Stapleton has been nominated for the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. He also looks to add a third Male Artist of the Year trophy to his collection but for both awards he will have tough competition with Luke Combs. If either Stapleton or Combs wins the prize for Entertainer of the Year they will clinch the Triple Crown Award. This award is handed to an artist who wins their respective New Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year categories throughout their career. Only seven artists have previously won the Triple Crown, most recent winners include Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean.

Miranda Lambert is the most nominated female artist in ACM history. This year she will battle it out for her tenth Female Artist of the Year title against Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde and Kelsea Ballerini – a tough category, all worthy winners but there can only be one! Meanwhile, at last year’s ceremony, Lambert pulled on everyone’s heartstrings by performing the song ‘Bluebird’ at the Bluebird Cafe, this year the song is up for multiple awards. Bluebird’s producer, Jay Joyce receives three nominations. The categories Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Musical Event of the Year recognise the work of the producer whilst Song of the Year recognises the songwriters. So let’s take a look at those talented folks behind the songs shall we? Of course, songwriter Shane McAnally receives multiple nods as he wrote Ashley McBryde’s One Night Standards and Old Dominions Some People Do and is nominated in the Songwriter of the Year category as well. The late busbee receives two nominations for his work on Carly Pearce’s and Lee Brice’s collaboration, ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’.

There are 14 creatives who have received their first nomination this year, perhaps most surprisingly is P!nk, who is nominated for musical Event of the year alongside collaborator Keith Urban. Their song One Too Many debuted at last years awards ceremony and has gone on to chart all around the world. The biggest celebration this year though is that four black artists have been nominated in a single year which makes ACM history! Is country music changing? Well that’s what we’d all like to see! Mickey Guyton receives her second nomination for New Female Artist of the Year – she is making waves within the genre and really driving the change that we need! Jimmie Allen is nominated in the male equivalent of that category and stands a very good chance.

So the stage is set for Nashville to come alive once again and showcase what gave it its nickname of Music City. Whoever takes to the stage is bound to put on a show for the fans at home and all that’s left to decide is who will triumph on the night!

And The Nominees Are…


Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton


Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris
Carly Pearce


Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton


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


Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
The Cadillac Three
The Highwomen


Ingrid Andress
Tenille Arts
Gabby Barrett
Mickey Guyton
Caylee Hammack


Jimmie Allen
Travis Denning
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

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Media contact

Zoe Hodges,
Editor, Maverick Magazine

Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823920

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