With six each, Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris lead the list of nominations going into Sunday night’s (April 18th) ACM Awards.
Chris earned nods in the categories for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Song (for “Starting Over”) and Album of the Year (Starting Over) as artist, songwriter and producer.
Eric Church earned three category nominations for Entertainer, Male Vocalist and Music Event of the Year for Luke Combs’ “Do to Me.”
Luke Bryan picks up a pair of nominations for Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year for Born Here Live Here Die Here, while Dierks Bentley also is nominated for two including Male Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year for “Gone” (the award went to Kane Brown for “Worldwide Beautiful”).
Brothers Osborne are nominated for both Duo of the Year (an award they’ve won twice before) and Album of the Year for Skeletons. Keith Urban also picks up two nods…in the same category – Music Event of the Year for both “Be a Light” with Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott and Chris Tomlin, as well as his latest single, “One Too Many” with P!nk.
Carrie Underwood earned a nod in Music Event of the Year with John Legend for “Hallelujah,” while Lauren Alaina is also nominated in Music Event of the Year for Hardy’s “One Beer,” along with Devin Dawson.
Little Big Town picks up a nomination for Group of the Year, while Maddie & Tae scored a nomination for Duo of the Year.
The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, will air live from Nashville April 18th beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT on CBS. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on the Paramount+.
Audio / Luke Bryan is up for ACM Entertainer of the Year, as well as Album of the Year for Born Here Live Here Die Here. He says being recognized for Entertainer is always a “dream come true.”Download
Luke Bryan (Nominated for ACM Entertainer) OC: …dream come true. :36
“Being nominated for ACM Entertainer of the Year is just, it’s just amazing. I mean, I look back over my career and I’ve won a couple of Entertainer awards and every time you see your name a part of that group of people, you’re just honored by it. I’ll tell you what, I go on stage every night trying to be the best entertainer I can be and try to get everybody in the crowd, in the room sing and love one another and have fun So, any time the ACMs recognizes me for that, it’s a dream come true.”
Audio / Luke Bryan talks about what fans can expect on his new album, BORN HERE LIVE HERE DIE HERE.Download
Luke Bryan (fan expectations for BHLHDH) OC: …something for everybody. :37
“I think fans can expect a little something of everything. They can expect a love song, a dancing song; obviously, ‘One Margarita’ being a big ole fun summer drinking song. And I think we have songs that will make you cry, touch your emotions, and I think, like I said there are songs that you can fall in love to out there. And there are songs that talk about the true meaning of life when you think about a song like ‘For a Boat,’ and you got a father teaching his son about the important things in life. So, I’m just proud of the way the album come together, and I feel like there’s something for everybody.”
Audio / Eric Church, going into Sunday's ACM Awards as the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, says this nomination means more to him than ever before.Download
Eric Church (ACM Entertainer Nod) OC: …live up to. :51
“Coming off the CMA Entertainer of the Year – I’ve said this in interviews and I really believe this – I did not know what that award would mean to me because we’d never won that award (laughs) and never thought we would, and I felt a responsibility. I know what that award means to the format; I know what that means historically, and I tried to live up to that. I think with the vaccinations, I think with the touring, I think with the things we’ve tried to do during this, I’ve done more in that regard than I ever would’ve, because I understand the people that came before me, and I understand the people that will come after me. So, that nomination means more to me now than it probably ever has, because we’ve won. I think representing the format that I adore is something that I’m trying to live up to.”
Audio / Eric Church talks about his ACM Male Artist nomination.Download
Eric Church (ACM Male Artist 2021) OC: …category. :12
“I’ve not been in that category in a while. I think it’s a great honor. I mean, I’ve said this a thousand times – I’ve always thought of myself as more of a stylist than a vocalist, but it’s an honor to be with the guys that are in the category.”
Audio / Eric Church talks about being nominated for ACM Music Event of the Year with Luke Combs on “Does To Me.”Download
Eric Church (ACM Music Event of the Year 2021) OC: …hopefully it wins. :34
“Luke Combs is somebody that we went to the same college, we’re from North Carolina both of us, I’ve got to know him, not only as an artist, but on a personal level. We’ve hung out together in North Carolina, here in Tennessee. I’m so proud of him and what he’s done. I’m proud that I was able to influence him and that he was able to do his own thing. And this song was, it was great to record it with him. I love the song. I love the writing of the song. I had nothing to do with that. They wrote it to the wall, and it was an honor to join him, and hopefully it wins.”
Audio / Chris Stapleton, who is nominated for Entertainer, Male Artist, Album and Song of the Year at this year’s ACM Awards, talks about the theme of his latest album, Starting Over.Download
Chris Stapleton (theme of Starting Over album) OC: …as humans. :54
“I’ve never really looked at records necessarily as having a theme. I’ve never made a record in that kind of a constraint necessarily. And there are a lot of great records that have this theme and this overlying thread that kind of runs through them. Maybe the thread for me is just I’m singing. I wrote a bulk of the songs. It’s the same guys playing all the songs. If there’s a theme – if there’s a theme it’s hopefully there’s a theme of truth somewhere in it. And what I mean by that is hopefully we’re conveying in the songs some experiences that feel real and hopefully people can find themselves in those songs and in the album. And for me if I’m looking for a theme it’s that kind of, I don’t know, that thing that binds us all together as humans.”
Audio / Chris Stapleton will perform “Maggie’s Song” on the ACM Awards on Sunday Night (April 18th). He felt like Maggie, a dog he and Morgan rescued and had for 14 years, deserved a song of her own – that song appears on his ACM-nominated album, Starting Over.Download
Chris Stapleton (Maggie’s Song) OC: …of our family. :33
“She deserved a tribute of a song. Now, whether or not I did her justice in the song, I don’t know, but she was a dog that deserved a song so I wrote a song about her the day after she died. That song happened to carry through to me being allowed to play it live, and we wound up in the studio and we recorded it. And now it lives in the world to make people more sad than they deserve to be (laughs) in a year that we don’t need much of that. But I loved that dog very much, and she was a great member of our family.”
Audio / Brothers Osborne, who are nominated for two ACM Awards including Duo of the Year and Album of the Year, talk about why they made their ACM-nominated album, Skeletons.Download
Brothers Osborne (how Skeletons came about) OC: …came about. 1:02
“Skeletons is a record that was essentially brought on because we wanted to play more new songs live. So, going into this record T.J. and I decided let’s make a record that no matter what song we just cherry pick out of the record we can do it during our show. And that is how we decided the songs that we ended up on the record. And we started with just like every other artist, 30, 40 plus songs. We started whittling them down, ‘well we might be able to play that. I don’t know if we would be able to play that.’ And that’s how we ended up with Skeletons. And it was really birthed from just playing live shows. One of the cool things about this record is that this is the first record where our entire band is playing on it. Previous records our drummer Adam and our bass player Pete they were playing, but this one has our other guitar player Jason and our keys player Billy Justin now. And it made a huge difference because for the first time we all got in the studio after playing hundreds of shows together, we put the headphones on and started playing and it was like oh it’s just the guys. We’re jamming with the dudes. And that’s how the record came about.”
Audio / Keith Urban has two ACM nominations in the same category of Music Event of the Year. Here he talks about the ACM-nominated duet with superstar P!nk on “One Too Many.”Download
Keith Urban (P!NK duet) OC: …it together. :29
“This song was written as a duet, and I sent the song to her and luckily she loved it. I loved the song and I was really hoping she would love it, because she’s truly one of the great singers of our generation. So, to hear her voice on this song was phenomenal. We had such a great time getting to do that. I wish we could’ve done it in the same space, but you know with the situation we’re in, of course, we couldn’t do that. So, she recorded her vocal at her house and I did mine at my house, and we put it together.”
Audio / Little Big Town talks about being nominated for ACM Group of the Year.Download
LBT (Group nomination) OC: …yeah. :12
“That’s the coolest thing. Yeah. We’re all friends and we all root for each other and cheer each other on, and we love the music they’re making. And we just celebrate, man. We’re, we’re fans. Yeah.”
Audio / Maddie & Tae feel like awards nominations show them they're making music people are enjoying.Download
Maddie & Tae (Duo nomination) OC: …super fun. :24
“Having that nomination was like, oh wow, our peers do still feel like we’re doing something special and do still believe in us and that was a really nice spirit-lifter where we were like, ‘Oh my gosh. We are doing something right and we’re making music that people are enjoying,’ and that was just a huge, huge compliment. And we’re nominated with some of favorite people in the industry, so super fun.”