BREAKING: ACM Awards Announce Nominations

Reba McEntire will return as the host for the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, marking her fifteenth time as ACM Awards host. The 16-time ACM award winner announced the top nominees in several categories on CBS This Morning.

The 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards will take place April 15 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Chris Stapleton leads with eight nominations in five categories, including his first nod for Entertainer of the Year. Stapleton is also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, and twice, as both artist and producer, in both the Album of the Year and Single Record of the Year categories; he received the Album of the Year nod for From a Room: Volume 1, and the Single Record of the Year nod for “Broken Halos.” He is also nominated twice, both as artist and songwriter, in the Song of The Year category for “Whiskey and You.”

Reigning Male Vocalist of the Year, Thomas Rhett earned six nominations, including his second in the Male Vocalist of the Year category. Rhett is also nominated twice, as an artist and producer, for both Album of The Year for Life Changes and Vocal Event of the Year for “Craving You” (featuring Maren Morris). Lastly, he is nominated for his first Music Video of the Year award for “Marry Me,” along with director TK McKamy and producer Dan Atchison.

Keith Urban earned five nominations including his eighth nod for Entertainer of the Year and eleventh nod for Male Vocalist of the Year. Urban is also nominated for Song of the Year for “Female,” and twice, as both artist and producer in the Vocal Event of the Year category for “The Fighter” (featuring Carrie Underwood). Urban won Top New Male Vocalist of the Year in 2000, and Top Male Vocalist of the Year in 2004 and 2005. A win in the Entertainer of the Year category would also make him the eighth ever ACM Triple Crown winner.

Songwriter Shane McAnally received five nominations. He is nominated as Songwriter of the Year, and twice as songwriter in the Song of the Year category for Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” and Keith Urban’s “Female.” McAnally is also nominated in the Album of the Year category for Old Dominion’s album Happy Endings, and in the Single Record of the Year category as a producer in Midland’s single “Drinkin’ Problems.”

Reigning Female Vocalist of the Year, Miranda Lambert received four nominations, including her twelfth nod for Female Vocalist of the Year. If she wins, it will be her ninth consecutive win in this category. She is the current record holder for most consecutive wins in the Female Vocalist of the Year category. Miranda is currently tied for the winningest artist in ACM history with 29 awards along with Brooks & Dunn. This year she is also nominated twice, both as artist and songwriter, in the Song of The Year category for “Tin Man,” and for Video of the Year for “We Should Be Friends.”

Reigning New Female Vocalist of the Year Maren Morris received four nominations, including her second nod in the Female Vocalist of the Year category. Morris is also nominated twice, as an artist and producer, in the Vocal Event of the Year category for “Dear Hate” (featuring Vince Gill). She is nominated again in the category with Thomas Rhett for “Craving You.”

Sam Hunt received three nominations for his hit “Body Like A Back Road.” One nod in the Single Record of The Year category, and two, both as artist and songwriter, in the Song of the Year category.

Reigning Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town, earned their twelfth nomination in the category. This would be their fourth consecutive win and fifth overall. They are also nominated for Album of the Year for Breaker, and Single Record of the Year for “Better Man.”

First-time Academy of Country Music Award nominee, Midland, received three nominations for Vocal Group of the Year, New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year, and Single Record of the Year for “Drinkin’ Problem.”

Eighteen-time ACM Award winner Tim McGraw and sixteen-time ACM Award winner Faith Hill received their first-ever nomination as a duo in the Vocal Duo of the Year category.

McEntire received her sixteenth nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year. This would be her eighth win in the category.

The following is the full list of final nominees. The Academy of Country Music’s professional membership selects the nominees and winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
• Jason Aldean
• Garth Brooks
• Luke Bryan
• Chris Stapleton
• Keith Urban

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Kelsea Ballerini
• Miranda Lambert
• Reba McEntire
• Maren Morris
• Carrie Underwood

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Jason Aldean
• Thomas Rhett
• Chris Stapleton
• Keith Urban
• Chris Young

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
• Brothers Osborne
• Dan + Shay
• Florida Georgia Line
• LOCASH
• Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
• Lady Antebellum
• LANCO
• Little Big Town
• Midland
• Old Dominion

NEW FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Lauren Alaina
• Danielle Bradbery
• Carly Pearce
• Raelynn

NEW MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Kane Brown
• Luke Combs
• Devin Dawson
• Russell Dickerson
• Brett Young

NEW VOCAL DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
• High Valley
• LANCO
• LOCASH
• Midland
• Runaway June

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
Breaker – Little Big Town
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

California Sunrise – Jon Pardi
Producers: Bart Butler, Jon Pardi
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

From A Room Vol. 1 – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Record Label: Mercury Records

Happy Endings – Old Dominion
Producer: Shane McAnally
Record Label: RCA

Life Changes – Thomas Rhett
Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
• Better Man – Little Big Town
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

• Body Like A Back Road – Sam Hunt
Producer: Zach Crowell
Record Label: MCA Nashville

• Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Record Label: Mercury Records

• Drinkin’ Problem – Midland
Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
Record Label: Big Machine Records

• I’ll Name The Dogs – Blake Shelton
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Record Label: Warner Bros.

SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
• Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt
Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
Publishers: Universal Music Corp./Sam Hunt Publishing, Highly Combustible Music/I Love Pizza Music,/Songs of Southside Independent Music Publishing/Who Wants to Buy My Publishing/Atlas Music Publishing, Anderson Fork In The Road Music/Smackville Music/Smack Songs LLC, Smack Hits

• Female – Keith Urban
Songwriters: Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon and Shane McAnally
Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music Inc./Rezonant Music/Plain Jane Songs, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./A Girl Named Charlie (BMI), Smack Hits/Smack Songs LLC (GMR)

• Tin Man – Miranda Lambert
Songwriters: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall
Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing/Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Beat Up Ford Publishing (BMI), BMG Platinum Songs (BMI)/SWMBMGBMI/Lonesome Vinyl Music

• Whiskey And You – Chris Stapleton
Songwriters: Lee Thomas Miller, Chris Stapleton
Publishers: WB Music Corp./New Sea Gayle Music (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./New Sea Gayle Music (BMI)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]
• Black – Dierks Bentley
Director: Wes Edwards
Producer: Max A. Butler

• It Ain’t My Fault – Brothers Osborne
Director: Wes Edwards, Ryan Silver
Producer: Tiffany Davies

• Legends – Kelsea Ballerini
Director: Jeff Venable
Producer: Ben Skipworth

• Marry Me – Thomas Rhett
Director: TK McKamy
Producer: Dan Atchison

• We Should Be Friends – Miranda Lambert
Director: Trey Fanjoy
Producer: April Dace

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR*(Off Camera Award)
• Rhett Akins
• Ashley Gorley
• Hillary Lindsey
• Shane McAnally
• Josh Osborne

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
• Craving You – Thomas Rhett Featuring Maren Morris
Producers: Julian Bunetta, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

• Dear Hate – Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
Producers: Brad Hill, Maren Morris
Record Label: Columbia Nashville

• Funny (How Time Slips Away) – Glen Campbell And Willie Nelson
Producer: Carl Jackson
Record Label: Universal Music Enterprises

• The Fighter – Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood
Producers: Busbee, Keith Urban
Record Label: Capitol Nashville

• What Ifs – Kane Brown Featuring Lauren Alaina
Producer: Dann Huff
Record Label: RCA Nashville

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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