The Academy of Country Music will present its annual awards show on Wednesday night (September 16th). The show was postponed from April in Las Vegas to September in Nashville due to the global pandemic (COVID-19).
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. The reigning Entertainer of the Year, Keith Urban, will host the show from The Grand Ole Opry House.
Performances include a star-studded medley from the night’s Entertainer of the Year nominees – Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett – to kick off the show, as well as other performances by Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Pink, Blake Shelton with Gwen Stefani, Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Riley Green, Tenille Townes, Thomas Rhett with Jon Pardi, Eric Church, Mickey Guyton, Morgan Wallen, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Florida Georgia Line, Trisha Yearwood, Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan.
Eric Church is set to perform the anthemic “Stick Tat in Your Country Song,” while Luke Bryan will sing his multi-week No 1 summer smash “One Margarita.” Taylor will perform her Top 40 country hit, “betty,” and Carrie Underwood will turn in a medley of songs by the format’s most iconic female artists, including Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. Mickey Guyton will sing the critically-acclaimed “What Are You Gonna Tell Her,” and the night’s host Keith Urban will perform with P!ink on his new song, “One Too Many from his upcoming album, The Speed of Now Part 1.
Newcomer Caylee Hammack picked up her first ACM Award for Music Event of the Year for the Miranda Lambert-led collaboration, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” which also featured Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes and Elle King.
Universal Music Group Nashville is celebrating its honorees (see below).
Eric Church leads our nominees with three, including his second nod for Entertainer of the Year. He was also nominated as artist and songwriter in the Song of the Year category for “Some of It” – marking his eighth and ninth nominations in the category.
Reigning Female Artist of the Year Kacey Musgraves earned three nominations including her seventh nod for Female Artist of the Year. Additionally, she received her first Single of the Year nomination as both artist and producer for “Rainbow.”
Carrie Underwood is nominated for a pair of awards, including Entertainer of the Year, as well as Female Artist of the Year.
Little Big Town also picks up a pair of nods for Group of the Year and Video of the Year for “Sugar Coat.”
Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and Keith Urban are nominated for Male Artist of the Year; Jon Pardi is up for Album of the Year for Heartache Medication; and Brothers Osborne and Maddie & Tae are up for Duo of the Year.
The 55th ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, hosted by Keith Urban, will be broadcast Wednesday, September 16th (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on CBS and will be available to stream on demand on CBS All Access.
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
DUO OF THE YEAR
Brooks & Dunn
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
GROUP OF THE YEAR
Little Big Town
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
GIRL – Maren Morris
Producers: busbee, Greg Kurstin, Maren Morris
Heartache Medication – Jon Pardi
Producers: Bart Butler, Ryan Gore, Jon Pardi
What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs
Producer: Scott Moffatt
Wildcard – Miranda Lambert
Producer: Jay Joyce
SINGLE OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
God’s Country – Blake Shelton
Producer: Scott Hendricks
One Man Band – Old Dominion
Producer: Shane McAnally
Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves
Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves, Daniel Tashian
Rumor – Lee Brice
Producers: Lee Brice, Dan Frizsell, Kyle Jacobs, Jon Stone
What If I Never Get Over You – Lady Antebellum
Producer: Dann Huff
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).
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.
Audio / ERIC CHURCH TALKS ABOUT THE ENERGY EXCHANGED BETWEEN HIM AND HIS FANS IN THE AUDIENCE AT HIS SHOWS.Download
Eric Church (performing energy) OC: …type of crowd. :40
“Well, I think for me every night I try to empty the tank. There’s always that energy floating around. It’s a palpable thing, and it’s up to me to start that exchange and get the crowd to give it back to me and then watch it build on itself and just to have that experience. We have one night here in whatever city we’re in, you know, we’ve got this night. I’m not gonna see you for a while you’re not gonna see me for a while, you know? And I love being able to capitalize on that moment and trying to live in that moment and get as much energy exchange between myself and the crowd as we can. I love that. That’s my favorite part of what we do. I love being around people, I’m very passionate about my music, and I love people who are passionate about the music too and I love playing a show for that type of crowd.”
Audio / LAST YEAR, CARRIE UNDERWOOD TALKED ABOUT HER ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR NOMINATION FOR LAST YEAR’S CMA AWARDS…AND THE SAME SENTIMENT HOLDS TRUE FOR THIS YEAR’S ACM AWARDS.Download
Carrie Underwood (Entertainer nod 2019) OC: …sorry boys! (laughs) :28
“I personally feel like entertainer. It’s everything, right? So, I feel like people kind of narrow it down to tours, but I feel like there’s so many more components to it. And, you know, I’m blessed and lucky to be nominated, obviously, and fantastic company. It would be amazing, but of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it. (laughs) Sorry boys.” (laughs)
Audio / A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, LUKE BRYAN TALKED ABOUT BEING NAMED ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR FROM BOTH THE ACM AWARDS AND CMA AWARDS.Download
Luke Bryan (Entertainer wins) OC: …got it right. :49
“The title is what it is, you know? I mean, my focus in life when I’m on stage is entertaining these fans. If it’s my smile and my demeanor, if it’s my song that does it, if it’s me picking up a child out of the audience and letting them sing, it’s not being so premeditated that you can see it from a mile away. I mean, my main thing is be a fan up there that just gets to sing. That’s kind of how I’ve always approached it, and being called the Entertainer of the Year makes me want to do that to the best of my ability every night for the rest of my life as long as I’m on stage. I want people to leave my shows and go, ‘You know what? Whoever’s voting him Entertainer of the Year, they got it right.’”
Audio / Caylee Hammack, who was nominated for a pair of awards going into this year's ACM AWARDS, has won her first for Music Event of the Year.Download
Caylee Hammack (ACM Music Event of the Year win) OC: …of women. :42
“Getting to recreate this song with women that inspire me so very much was already a huge blessing for me. To get to perform it every night for the encore of Miranda Lambert’s show that I got to be on tour with her for, it was already this huge blessing for me and then to be nominated was a huge deal and now, we’ve won an ACM for vocal event of the year, this is unreal. And I wish there was another word I could use for it, but unreal is truly it. This is so very special, and I’m just so honored to be in this group of this caliber of women.”
Audio / KACEY MUSGRAVES SAYS SHE WROTE “RAINBOW” AS A MEMO TO HERSELF, BUT SAYS IT CAN HELP PEOPLE ACTUALLY SEE THE SUN THROUGH THE CLOUDS.Download
Kacey Musgraves (Rainbow) 1 OC: …make it through. :48
“The song ‘Rainbow’ was actually written a handful of years ago as sort of a little bit of a memo to myself. I think we can all get stuck in a mindset that things are never gonna improve or you can easily focus on kind of the bad parts of whatever you’re going through and not really realize that if you pulled your head above the water you’d see that the sun is actually shining and that everything’s actually okay. I think one of the reasons that people may relate to the song a lot is because, though it was written to myself, I think that it can take the shape of like whatever someone’s going through – whether it’s coming out and not having the support or just any kind of a situation that they don’t feel like they may make it through.”
Audio / ERIC CHURCH TALKS ABOUT HIS SONG "SOME OF IT."Download
Eric Church (Some of It coming of age) OC: …figure it out. :56
“That’s a song, a coming-of-age song, it’s an adult song. It’s adult music. If you listen to the thematics in that and what it’s about, it’s about being older and having some wisdom about you. I think that’s something that I appreciate in my fan base now that early on probably wasn’t there. We were young and drunk and fighting and stupid. But I think now to see them grow – to see the fan base grow – it’s just one of those songs that came along at the right time. And again, it was such a blessing that happened. It wasn’t going to be on the album. It was just one of those freak things that I put it on the album, the last song on the album. The album was done, and all of a sudden it becomes the pillar, one of the pillars on the album. I think again, you go back to it’s one of the great things about music, is you just never know what’s going to happen until it’s all said and done. You can try to plan all you want to, but you’ll probably not going to figure it out.”
Audio / Jon Pardi is excited for his ACM Album of the Year nomination.Download
Jon Pardi (nominated for ACM AWARD for album) OC: …it’s awesome. :32
“Being nominated for an ACM Award is always awesome, especially when it’s for Album f the Year. From all the hard work we put in to making this record to seeing it as a nominee for Album of the Year is amazing. It’s such a great honor to just have a nomination – to still be in the game is what I’m saying, and I put in a lot of hard work and it’s just so fun. It’s my favorite category to be in and the most, it’s the one I want to be in because that means all the songs help you get that nomination. I think that’s so great, and we work so hard on picking songs. So, it’s awesome.”
Audio / MADDIE MARLOW OF MADDIE & TAE TALK ABOUT BEING NOMINATED FOR THE ACM DUO OF THE YEAR AWARD.Download
Maddie & Tae (ACM 2019) OC: …this year. :35
“Being in the Duo category, especially being the only females in that category, is really, really special. We are just in such good company. Every single duo that’s nominated this year, we are really good friends with and we love and support and root for, but just the fact the industry acknowledges what we’re doing, especially after the crazy past couple of years we’ve had, just to get that nod saying, ‘Hey! You’re doing good. Keep doing what you’re doing,’ is so special. We do not take that for granted ‘cause we didn’t expect that at all, and so it was a huge shock for us and such good news for us this year.”
Audio / BROTHERS OSBORNE SAYS IT'S AN HONOR TO BE NOMINATED AT THIS YEAR'S ACM AWARDS.Download
Brothers Osborne (being nominated) OC: (TJ) …but it really is. :26
JOHN: “One of the things I love about the country music genre is “It sounds cliché to say it’s an honor, but it really is that it’s a family. We’re all really, really close. We’re all a bunch of misfits thrown together. We’re all a little different, but we love one another and respect one another, and I’m just honored for the both of us to be a part of this awesome family.” TJ: “I will say to add on that, it sounds cliché to say it’s an honor to be nominated, but it really is.”