Maren Morris & Chris Stapleton Lead 2021 ACM Awards Nominations

The nominees for the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards are in!

On Friday morning (February 26), Kelsea Ballerini and Brothers Osborne did the honors of helping to announce the nominations for this year’s country music awards show.

Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris lead the pack this time around with six nominations, respectively. The “Starting Over” musician garnered nods for Male Artist, Entertainer, Song and Album of the Year, while the “Bones” songbird claimed bids for Female Artist, Single, Song, and Video of the Year.

Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, and Dan + Shay are also among the slate of country stars in the running for awards this year, with crooners like Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett up for trophies in several categories at the 2021 ACM Awards.

Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton, Jimmie Allen, and John Legend also make history at this year’s ACM Awards, with nominations going to four Black artists, the most in the show’s history.

Morgan Wallen, who made his breakthrough in 2020, was infamously made ineligible by the Academy of Country Music due to a recent racial slur controversy.

The ceremony is set to broadcast live on CBS from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Bluebird Cafe, and Ryman Auditorium on Sunday, April 18, at 8 PM ET.

See the complete list of 2021 ACM Awards 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


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)

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)

"I Hope You’re Happy Now," Carly Pearce and 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)

"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)

"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 feat. Eric Church (Producer: Scott Moffatt. Record Label: River House Artists/Columbia Nashville)

"I Hope You’re Happy Now," Carly Pearce and Lee Brice (Producer: Busbee. Record Label: Big Machine Records / Curb Records)

"Nobody But You," Blake Shelton feat. Gwen Stefani (Producer: Scott Hendricks. Record Label: Warner Music Nashville)

"One Beer," Hardy feat. Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson (Producers: Derek Wells, Joey Moi. Record Label: Big Loud Records)

"One Too Many," Keith Urban and Pink (Producers: Cutfather, Dan McCarroll, Keith Urban, PhD. Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville.)

Songwriter of the Year

Ashley Gorley

Michael Hardy

Hillary Lindsey

Shane McAnally

Josh Osborne

Photo: Getty Images