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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.

By Lauren Huff
February 26, 2021 at 09:00 AM EST
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Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton
Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images; Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards won't take place until April, but already it's one for the record books.

The nominations for the awards, which honor the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry, were announced Friday morning.

Leading all nominees with the most nominations are Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton. Both are nominated in top categories including Song of the Year, and Female or Male Artist of the Year. Other artists who received multiple nominations include Miranda Lambert with 5 nods, and Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett (each with 4 mentions).

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. Additionally, for the first time, every Single of the Year nomination features a female artist. It marks the first nomination in this category for three of the six nominees: Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress, and Gabby Barrett.

The 56th ACM Awards will broadcast live from three iconic country music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, and The Bluebird Cafe on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 p.m., live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. It will also be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+, ViacomCBS' upcoming global streaming service.

See the full list of nominations 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: 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

  • "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

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