By Rachel Yang
Updated April 18, 2021 at 11:50 PM EDT
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The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards recognized top artists in country on Sunday night, as well as emerging stars making strides in the industry.

Entertainer of the Year went to Luke Bryan, who accepted the award virtually after recently testing positive for COVID-19. Maren Morris, who led the nominations with Chris Stapleton, took home Female Artist of the Year while Thomas Rhett won Male Artist of the Year. The coveted Album of the Year went to Stapleton for Starting Over, while Carly Pearce and Lee Brice's "I Hope You're Happy Now" won Single of the Year and Morris' "The Bones" earned Song of the Year.

Heading into the night, four Black artists were up for awards this year, the most in the ACM Awards' history. Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, and John Legend all scored nominations, with Allen and Brown already winning one award each before the ceremony. Allen became the first Black musician to win New Male Artist of the Year, and Brown similarly made history as the first Black solo artist to nab ACM Video of the Year.

Hosted by Keith Urban and Guyton, the ACM Awards were held across three iconic country music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Cafe. Performances also took place at locations around the city like the Station Inn, Bridge Building, and on Broadway.  

The evening also touted an unprecedented number of world TV premiere performances, including Lambert and Elle King opening the show with "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)." Other performers who took the stage included Guyton, Morris and Ryan Hurd, Rhett, Stapleton, Brown and Chris Young, Brothers Osborne, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, and Blake Shelton.

The ACM Awards aired live on Sunday (8-11 p.m. live ET/delayed PT) on CBS and will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.

Below is the full list of the night's big winners. ACM will announce remaining categories after the ceremony.

Entertainer of the Year

  • WINNER: Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton

Female Artist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Ashley McBryde
  • WINNER: Maren Morris
  • Carly Pearce

Male Artist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • WINNER: Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton

 Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • WINNER: Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Group of the Year

  • Lady A
  • Little Big Town
  • WINNER: Old Dominion
  • The Cadillac Three
  • The Highwomen

New Female Artist of the Year

  • Ingrid Andress
  • Tenille Arts
  • WINNER: Gabby Barrett
  • Mickey Guyton
  • Caylee Hammack

New Male Artist of the Year

  • WINNER: Jimmie Allen
  • Travis Denning
  • HARDY
  • Cody Johnson
  • Parker McCollum

Album of the Year 

  • 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

  • WINNER: Starting Over – Chris Stapleton

Producers: Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb
Record Label: Mercury Nashville

Single of the Year 

  • "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

  • WINNER: "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 

  • "Bluebird" – Miranda Lambert

Songwriter(s): Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby
Publishers: Emileson 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; Teremitry 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

  • WINNER: "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 

  • "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

  • WINNER: "Worldwide Beautiful" — Kane Brown

Director: Alex Alvga
Producer: Christen Pinkston

Music Event of the Year

  • "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

  • WINNER: "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

Winners not yet announced:

Songwriter of the Year

  • Ashley Gorley
  • Michael Hardy
  • Hillary Lindsey
  • Shane McAnally
  • Josh Osborne

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

Related content:

Academy of Country Music Awards

type
  • TV Show
rating
status
  • In Season

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