ACM Awards 2021: What to know

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The 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) is right around the corner — returning to its usual April time slot. 

The show comes on the heels of the 2020 ACMs, which aired in September after it was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s ACM Awards.

When will it air?

The 2021 ACM Awards will take place on Sunday, April 18th.


Musician Chris Stapleton has received six nominations.

How can I watch it?

The show will air live, on-demand and on streaming via CBS at 8 p.m. EST.

Where will it take place?

Opting to return to Nashville, Tenn., instead of Las Vegas, the 56th annual ACMs will once again be broadcast from three different venues in the Music City — including the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Café.

“We’re thrilled to return to Music City’s most iconic venues as we come together on April 18th to celebrate the best in Country Music, back in our normal awards cycle,” said CEO of the Academy of Country Music, Damon Whiteside.

“A huge thank you to the city of Nashville, Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and Bluebird Cafe for welcoming us back to Nashville, where we can look out for the safety of our artists while shining a spotlight on this vibrant city after a tough 2020,” Whiteside added. 

Who is nominated?

Like Stapleton, Maren Morris also has six nominations. 
(ABC via Getty Images)

The Academy of Country Music, dick clark productions, and CBS announced the nominations on Friday, which honors some of the biggest talent and rising stars within country music.

Topping the list of most nominations are country music songstress Maren Morris and superstar Chris Stapleton — with six nominations overall.


Morris’ crossover pop hit “The Bones,” was nominated for single of the year and earned her two nominations as songwriter and artist for song of the year. She was also nominated for female artist of the year, which she won last year, and music video of the year for “Better Than We Found It.” Morris received a group of the year nomination for her all-star collaboration with The Highwomen as well. 

Stapleton, who released his fourth solo studio album last year, “Starting Over,” was nominated as male artist of the year, an award he’s received twice. He was also nominated for song of the year as both songwriter and artist, as well as for album of the year as both artist and producer.

Miranda Lambert has been nominated for female artist of the year for the 15th time.
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM)

Notably, no women have been nominated for the top prize in the entertainer of the year category. However, all five nominees for the single of the year are performed by women, a first for the ACM Awards.

In addition to Lambert’s “Bluebird” and Morris’ “The Bones,” Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice’s duet “I Hope You’re Happy Now” and Ingrid Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine” fill out the category.

Furthermore, four Black artists are also nominated this year across all categories, another first for the ACM Awards. Kane Brown was nominated for album of the year for his record “Mixtape Vol. 1” while Jimmie Allen was nominated for new male artist of the year again after first being nominated in the same category in 2018.


John Legend has his first ACM Awards nomination for video of the year for his duet with Carrie Underwood on ‘Hallelujah.’
(AP, File)

Mickey Guyton was nominated again for new female artist of the year, after first being nominated in 2015. Her 2020 song “Black Like Me,” released after the death of George Floyd, never gained traction at radio, but brought her critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for best country solo performance.

Under ACM award criteria, artists can be nominated more than once in the new artist of the year categories as long as they haven’t won it previously and have not yet released a single from their third studio album.


Grammy winner John Legend has his first ACM Awards nomination for video of the year for his duet with Carrie Underwood on “Hallelujah.”

Hosts, performers and presenters have not yet been announced.

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report

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