2020 ACM Awards announce early winners: Riley Green and Tenille Townes claim Best New Artist honors

The 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards will be held on Wednesday, September 16, after they were postponed several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but even though the awards are almost a month away, the academy has announced its first winners: Riley Green takes New Male Artist of the Year and Tenille Townes receives New Female Artist of the Year. Both newcomers will perform at the upcoming ceremony that will be hosted by Keith Urban.

Green said in a statement about his win, “When we had to come off the road back in March, I wasn’t sure what the rest of 2020 would look like. So much has happened in the world since then, and I’m really excited to have a moment to play music again. My grandfathers’ love for country music is what led me to this moment, and I have to dedicate this award to them. Thank you to everyone who believes in my music enough to let this boy from Alabama get to share his songs like this.”

Townes also responded to her victory: “I’ll always remember this feeling, standing here as a new artist. I feel so honored and incredibly grateful just to be a part of this country music community that inspires me. Receiving this ACM Award feels like belief from that community, and that means so much to me.”

And academy CEO Damon Whiteside commented, “This year’s New Artists have experienced astounding success already, and the Academy feels honored to be able to present them with their first ACM Award win. We hope this is a memory that they will carry with them as their careers continue to thrive. A huge congratulations to all of this year’s well-deserving nominees, and a special thank you to the artists’ teams who helped the academy pull off the surprise, especially our host Keith Urban for making this moment monumental. We can’t wait to see Riley and Tenille on the 55th ACM Awards stage on Sept. 16!”

Green was nominated against Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Cody Johnson and Morgan Wallen. And Townes won her award against Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Lindsay Ell and Caylee Hammack.

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