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Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood & Thomas Rhett Among Big Winners In 55th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards
Old Dominion won Group of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and won their first Song of the Year Award for “One Man Band” with Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi each receiving an additional win as songwriters. This marks two overall wins as a group, with Ramsey, Rosen and Tursi leading the night with three individual wins, each. Miranda Lambert continues her reign as most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history with 35 wins, after taking home this year’s trophy in Music Event of the Year category for “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Dan + Shay won Duo of the Year marking their second win in a row in the category.
The evening continued with more first-time wins including Luke Combs earning his first Male Artist of the Year Award and his first-ever win for Album of the Year for What You See Is What You Get. Maren Morris won her first Female Artist of the Year Award and her first Music Event of the Year for “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” alongside Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack & Elle King. Blake Shelton won Single of the Year Award for “God’s Country” making this his first-ever win in the category.
Previously announced, Riley Green won New Male Artist of the Year and Tenille Townes won New Female Artist of the Year. Townes also won her first Music Event of the Year Award and both performed on the telecast and are featured on the newly released “On The Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives® Edition)” single, Willie Nelson’s timeless hit, featuring the ACM New Artist Nominees Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, and Morgan Wallen, joined by Nelson. Produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins. Proceeds from the single will benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to be disbursed to individuals in the Country Music community who are currently in need of pandemic relief assistance.
This year’s 55th ACM Awards featured an all-star lineup of collaborations and memorable performances featuring 24 performances, including 41 hit songs. The awards telecast kicked off with Entertainer of the Year nominees performing a medley of each of their greatest hits. Luke Bryan performed “Rain Is A Good Thing,” Eric Church performed “Drink In My Hand,” Luke Combs performed “When It Rains It Pours,” Thomas Rhett performed “It Goes Like This” and Carrie Underwood performed “Before He Cheats.”
Global superstar and two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift, returned to the ACM Awards stage for the first time in seven years with a world premiere performance of “betty” off her record-breaking new album Folklore. 55th ACM Awards host Keith Urban performed the world television premiere of his new single, “One Too Many” with international pop icon P!NK, from Urban’s new album out Friday, Speed of Now. Mickey Guyton made her solo ACM Award performance debut with “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” featuring surprise guest Urban on piano. Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani performed their latest single “Happy Anywhere.” Eric Church opened his performance with “Ragged Old Flag” a poem read by Johnny Cash which led into his single “Stick That In Your Country Song.”
In celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, newly crowned three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year winner, Carrie Underwood, honored trailblazing female Opry members by performing a medley of songs including Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” Barbara Mandrell’s “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing,” Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia,” and Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That.”
Additional performances included first-time ACM Awards performer Jimmie Allen (“Make Me Want To”), Kelsea Ballerini (“hole in the bottle”), Gabby Barrett (“I Hope”), Kane Brown (“Worldwide Beautiful”), Luke Bryan (“One Margarita”), Luke Combs (“Better Together”), Dan + Shay (“I Should Probably Go To Bed”), Florida Georgia Line (“I Love My Country”), Riley Green (“I Wish Grandpas Never Died”), Miranda Lambert (“Bluebird”) featuring Songwriters Natalie Hemby & Luke Dick, Tim McGraw (“I Called Mama”), Maren Morris (“To Hell & Back”), Old Dominion (Medley of “One Man Band,” “Written in the Sand,” “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” “Break Up With Him,” “Snapback,” “Song For Another Time,” “Hotel Key” & “Make It Sweet”), Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi (“Beer Can’t Fix”), Tenille Townes (“Somebody’s Daughter”), and Morgan Wallen (“Whiskey Glasses”). Presenters included Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, ACM National Radio Personality of the Year Winner Bobby Bones, Cam, Darius Rucker, Runaway June and CeCe Winans. Rucker also gave a sneak peek of the National Museum of African American Music, scheduled to open this Fall in Downtown Nashville.
For the first time in the show’s history, the 55th ACM Awards took place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic Country Music venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. Artists who performed from the Ryman include Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Riley Green, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi, and Tenille Townes. Performances from the Grand Ole Opry House included Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Mickey Guyton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Morgan Wallen. Artists at The Bluebird Cafe included Jimmie Allen, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert featuring songwriters Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, and Tim McGraw. Fans also enjoyed a virtual collaboration by Keith Urban and P!NK as well as a virtual Bluebird Cafe performance with Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani. Multi-ACM Award winning artist Trisha Yearwood delivered a special performance from the Opry House of “I’ll Carry You Home” from her critically acclaimed album Every Girl for the In Memoriam, paying tribute to those we have lost in the Country Music industry.
Following is the list of winners in the 13 categories voted on by Academy members:
Entertainer of the Year:
Duo of the year
Dan + Shay
Group of the Year
New Female Artist of the Year
New Male Artist of the Year
Album of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs
Record Label: River House Artists/Columbia Nashville
God’s Country – Blake Shelton
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Record Label: Warner Bros. (Nashville)
Song of the Year [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
One Man Band – Old Dominion
Songwriter(s): Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi
Video of the Year [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award)
Remember You Young – Thomas Rhett
Director: TK McKamy
Producer: Dan Atchison
Songwriter of the Year *(Off Camera Award)
Music Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)] *(Off Camera Award)
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