Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton Lead 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards Nominees

This year's ACM Awards will air Sunday, April 18 on CBS

The Academy of Country Music announced the nominees for the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Friday morning (Feb. 26), with Kelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne appearing on CBS This Morning. The country stars revealed finalists for categories including 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.

Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton lead this year’s ACM nominees with six nominations each.Reigning Female Artist of the Year 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.

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.

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.

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.

On April 18, 2021, the ACM Awards will return to Nashville, once again airing from three iconic music venues—the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium (the Opry’s former home from 1943-1974) and the Bluebird Café, an intimate performance spot where many artists such as Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift launched their careers.

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show aired from Nashville instead of its usual Las Vegas home, marking first time in the awards show’s history that it aired from Music City.

A surprise culmination to that evening’s broadcast saw Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett tie for the coveted Entertainer of the Year trophy. Luke Combs took home both Album of the Year (for What You See Is What You Get) and Male Artist of the Year honors. Maren Morris earned Female Artist of the Year, while Old Dominion earned wins for both Song of the Year (for “One Man Band”) and Group of the Year.

Fans can view the upcoming 56th annual ACM Awards on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on CBS. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ upcoming global streaming service.

See the 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
· 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: Emileon 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; Telemitry 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