Sunday, April 18, 2021
– Luke Bryan won the biggest honor of the night of the Academy of Country Music awards - Entertainer of the Year.
"I'm amazingly surprised," he said from Los Angeles. "Anyway, what a honor. To the ACMs, I'm so sorry I could not be there." Bryan could not be there because has Covid-19. He seemed genuinely surprised to have won the honor.
"We've missed touring. We've missed out on the road to everyone who makes me an entertainer."
Chris Stapleton's "Starting Over" won the Academy of Country Music Album of the Year.
"We worked really hard to make music, and we think a lot about it," said Stapleton. "It means a lot to us. It really does."
A heartfelt Maren Morris won Female Vocalist of the Year. She thanked the four other nominees, who "brought so much to the heat, to country music...I have heard some of the best music from all of you." She made that comment in relation to it being a difficult year due to Covid.
Thomas Rhett took Male Vocalist of the Year at the 56th Academy of Country Awards.
"Man, this is absolutely unbelievable, especially sitting here next to Dierks," he said of Bentley, who was also nominated. "It just feels incredible to be Nominated in this category."
Old Dominion won the first award of the night - Group of the Year. "If we look surprised, it's because it's because everyone in this category especially this year, it could be anyone," said lead singer Matthew Ramsey. "We're just very very fortunate to be standing here. It's a crazy year."
Dan + Shay won Duo of the Year."This is so special," said Shay Mooney. "I remember visiting [the Bluebird Cafe] over 10 years ago, before I moved to Nashville, with dreams of being a songwriter in this town," Dan Smyers said. "[I'm] still just excited every single day getting to wake up and write country music.
Song of the Year went to "The Bones," the song sung by Maren Morris, who wrote it with Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veitz. A tearful Morris was obviously appreciated, but lamented the absence of her co-writers here and at other awards shows. She also said, "Maybe this song has brought you and your family some peace."
Carly Pearce and Lee Brice won Single of the Year for "I Hope You're Happy Now." Pearce was obviously excited to win of the song she wrote with Luke Combs, Randy Montana and Jonathan Singleton. They also took Vocal Event for the song.
Miranda Lambert and Elle King launched the 56th annual Academy of Country Music awards with "Drunk (and I Don't Wanna Go Home)." The song began the night's festivities with a full band, but rows of empty seats due to Covid-19.
A smattering of fans were in the upper rows - local health care workers.
Kane Brown won the ACM Music Video of the Year for his hit, "Worldwide Beautiful." He received the honor last week.
The show was hosted by Mickey Guyton and Keith Urban. Guyton was the first Black country singer to host the awards show.