awards season

Maren Morris, Luke Bryan Win Big at 2021 ACM Awards

Photo: John Shearer/ACMA2021/Getty Images for ACM

Awards season continued apace on Sunday, April 18, with Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton co-hosting the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards. Like the 2020 show, the 56th annual ceremony celebrated achievement in the country-music industry and featured live performances streaming from three iconic Nashville venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium, and The Bluebird Cafe.

Maren Morris led the night with three wins, including Female Artist of the Year and Song of the Year (for her track “The Bones,” which awarded her both artist and songwriter credits). Chris Stapleton, who tied Morris for the most nominations this year with six nods, took home two awards, including Album of the Year. Meanwhile, Luke Bryan emerged victorious among the five men (and two Lukes!) vying for the coveted Entertainer of the Year title.

Some honors, including the radio categories and the New Male Artist and New Female Artist awards, were announced prior to Sunday’s ceremony. Jimmie Allen became the first Black artist to ever win a new artist award, taking home New Male Artist of the Year, and Kane Brown became the first Black solo artist to win Video of the Year, for “Worldwide Beautiful.” Both their wins come after the ACM nominated a record-breaking (really) four Black musicians, also including Mickey Guyton (New Female Artist of the Year) and John Legend (Video of the Year); Brown is also up for Album of the Year for Mixtape Vol. 1. Songwriter of the Year and Studio Recording Award winners will be announced at the ACM Honors later this year. Check out the full list of 2021 ACM Award winners so far below.


Entertainer of the Year
Chris Stapleton
Eric Church
Luke Bryan
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett

Album of the Year
Luke Bryan, Born Here Live Here Die Here
Kane Brown, Mixtape Vol. 1
Ashley McBryde, Never Will
Brothers Osborne, Skeletons
Chris Stapleton, Starting Over

Female Artist of the Year
Ashley McBryde
Carly Pearce
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris
Miranda Lambert

Male Artist of the Year
Chris Stapleton
Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett

Duo of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

Single of the Year
Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird”
Gabby Barrett, “I Hope”
Carly Pearce & Lee Brice, “I Hope You’re Happy Now”
Ingrid Andress, “More Hearts Than Mine”
Maren Morris, “The Bones”

Song of the Year
Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird”
Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards”
Old Dominion, “Some People Do”
Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over”
Maren Morris, “The Bones”

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
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

Video of the Year
“Better Than We Found It,” Maren Morris
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert
“Gone,” Dierks Bentley
“Hallelujah,” Carrie Underwood and John Legend
“Worldwide Beautiful,” Kane Brown

Music Event of the Year
“Be a Light,” Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban
“Does to Me,” Luke Combs feat. Eric Church
“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce & Lee Brice
“Nobody But You,” Blake Shelton ft. Gwen Stefani
“One Beer,” HARDY ft. Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson
“One Too Many,” Keith Urban, P!nk

National On-Air Personality of the Year
Big D, Bubba, Patrick Thomas, Carsen, The Big D and Bubba Show
Cody Alan, CMT After MidNite
Kix Brooks, American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks
Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, The Crook & Chase Countdown
Paul Koffy, Jasmine Sadry, Josh Jensen, Morning Koffy

On-Air Personality of the Year - Major Market
Broadway, WDRQ-FM - Detroit, MI
Chris Carr & Company - Chris Carr, Kia Becht, McKaila Poppen, KEEY-FM - Minneapolis, MN
Double-L - Lois Lewis, KNIX-FM - Phoenix, AZ
Tanner in the Morning - Rob Tanner, Catherine Lane, Chris Allen, Captain Jim, WSOC-FM - Charlotte, NC
The Morning Bull - George, Mo, Cowboy Dave - KILT-FM - Houston, TX

On-Air Personality of the Year - Large Market
Dave & Deb - Dave Gunderson, Deb Turpin, KSOP-FM - Salt Lake City, UT
Lexi & Banks - Lexi Papadopoulos, Jared Banks - KUBL-FM - Salt Lake City, UT
Mad Dawg, WQDR-FM - Raleigh, NC
Obie & Ashley - Obie Diaz, Ashley Morrison, WWKA-FM - Orlando, FL
The Wake Up Call - Kelli Green, David Bugenske. KFRG-FM - Riverside/San Bernardino, CA

On-Air Personality of the Year - Medium Market
Buzz Jackson - KIIM-FM - Tucson, AZ
Geoff Emery, KUZZ AM/FM - Bakersfield, CA
Mo & Styckman, WUSY-FM - Chattanooga, TN
Scott & Sarah in the Morning, Scott Wynn, Sarah Kay - WQMX-FM - Akron, OH
Steve Lundy and Gina Melton, KXKT-FM - Omaha, NE

On-Air Personality of the Year - Small Market
Barrett, Fox & Berry - Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, Tracy Berry, KKNU-FM - Eugene, OR
Dr. Shane and Tess in the Morning - ‘Dr.’ Shane Collins, Tess Connell, WPAP-FM - Panama City, FL
Erin and Matt in the Morning - Erin Hart, Matt Sharp, KATI-FM - Jefferson City, MO
Steve, Ben and Nikki - Steve Stroud, Ben Walker, and Nikki Thomas - WXBQ-FM - Bristol, VA
The Philip Gibbons Show - Philip Gibbons, WGSQ-FM - Cookeville, TN

Radio Station of the Year - Major Market
KKBQ-FM, Houston, TX
KNIX-FM, Phoenix, AZ
KSON- FM, San Diego, CA
WKLB-FM, Boston, MA
WXTU-FM, Philadelphia, PA

Radio Station of the Year - Large Market
KSOP-FM, Salt Lake City, UT
KNCI-FM, Sacramento, CA
WDSY-FM, Pittsburgh, PA
WSIX-FM, Nashville, TN
WQDR-FM, Raleigh, NC

Radio Station of the Year - Medium Market
KSKS-FM, Fresno, CA
KUZZ-AM/FM, Bakersfield, CA
KXKT-FM, Omaha, NE
WHKO-FM, Dayton, OH
WIVK-FM, Knoxville, TN

Radio Station of the Year - Small Market
KATI-FM, Jefferson City, MO
KCLR-FM, Columbia, MO
KKNU-FM, Eugene, OH
WCOW-FM, Sparta, WI
WXBQ-FM, Bristol, VA


Songwriter of the Year
Ashley Gorley
Hillary Lindsey
Josh Osborne
Shane McAnally

Bass Player of the Year
Glenn Worf
J.T. Cure
Mark Hill
Steve Mackey
Tony Lucido

Drummer of the Year
Aaron Sterling
Derek Mixon
Evan Hutchings
Fred Eltringham
Jerry Roe

Guitar Player of the Year
Derek Wells
Ilya Toshinskiy
J.T. Corenflos
Jedd Hughes
Kris Donegan

Piano/Keys Player of the Year
Benmont Tench
Charlie Judge
Dave Cohen
David Dorn
Mike Rojas

Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year
Alicia Enstrom
Danny Rader
Ilya Toshinskiy
Jim Hoke
Kristin Wilkinson
Mickey Raphael

Steel Guitar Player of the Year
Dan Dugmore
Justin Schipper
Mike Johnson
Russ Pahl
Spencer Cullum

Audio Engineer of the Year
F. Reid Shippen
Gena Johnson
Jason Hall
Jeff Balding
Vance Powell

Producer of the Year
Buddy Cannon
Dann Huff
Dave Cobb
Jay Joyce
Joey Moi

Maren Morris, Luke Bryan Win Big at 2021 ACM Awards