2021 ACM Awards nominations list: Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris lead Academy of Country Music kudos with 6 bids

Just a few months after the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards were delayed to last September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 nominees have been announced. Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton lead with six nominations each. They’re followed by Miranda Lambert with five and Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett with four. Though those women earned multiple noms, there are zero women up for Entertainer of the Year, which at this point isn’t too surprising for the ACMs. Scroll down for the complete list of nominees, and find out who wins when the awards are handed out on April 18.

Stapleton contends for the top Entertainer award, which is his third nomination in that category. He’s also up for Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for “Starting Over” (nominated as both artist and producer), and Song of the Year for the title track (nominated as both artist and songwriter).

Morris’s six bids include Female Artist of the Year, which she won last year. She’s also in the running for Single of the Year for “The Bones,” Song of the Year for that same crossover hit (nominated as both artist and songwriter), Music Video of the Year for “Better Than We Found It” and Group of the Year as a member of The Highwomen.

Despite the continued absence of women in the top category, the academy pointed out in its nominations announcement that every nominee for Single of the Year is by a female artist, and across 13 categories they found room for four Black artists for the first time ever (Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, Kane Brown and John Legend). There’s clearly still a long way to go for the country music industry. See the complete list of nominees 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 and 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
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

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

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

Song of the Year
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (written by Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby)
“One Night Standards,” Ashley McBryde (written by Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally)
“Some People Do,” Old Dominion (written by Jesse Frasure, Matt Ramsey, Thomas Rhett, Shane McAnally)
“Starting Over,” Chris Stapleton (written by Chris Stapleton, Mike Henderson)
“The Bones,” Maren Morris (written by Jimmy Robbins, Maren Morris, Laura Veltz)

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

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

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

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