2021 ACM Nominees: Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton & More

Miranda Lambert

Chris Stapleton
Six nominations, including entertainer of the year

Stapleton’s fourth solo album, Starting Over, entered Top Country Albums at No. 1. It also scored a nomination for album of the year, earning him two nods as both artist and co-producer. His first three solo albums were also nominated in that category. Starting Over’s title track/lead single, which reached No. 4 on Hot Country Songs (thus far), is nominated for song of the year, giving Stapleton two nods as artist and cowriter. The Kentucky native is also nominated for entertainer of the year for the third time in four years and male artist of the year for the sixth time in a row.

Miranda Lambert
Five nominations, including single of the year

Lambert’s “Bluebird” is nominated for single, song and video of the year. It’s this year’s only work to be nominated in all three of these categories. In the song of the year category, Lambert is nominated as both artist and co-writer. “Bluebird,” from her seventh studio album, Wildcard, became her first solo No. 1 on Country Airplay in eight years. She is also nominated for female artist of the year — a category she has won a record nine times — for the 15th consecutive year. Lambert’s five current ACM nominations bring her career total to a whopping 68, the record for a female artist.

Jay Joyce (producer)
Four nominations, including album of the year

Joyce is competing with himself for album of the year. He is nominated for producing Ashley McBryde’s Never Will and Brothers Osborne’s Skeletons, both of which reached the top five on Top Country Albums. Joyce won the 2012 award in that category for co-producing Eric Church’s Chief. The Nashville native is also nominated for single of the year for producing Miranda Lambert’s “Bluebird” and producer of the year for the sixth time. He has won in that category in every even-numbered year dating back to 2012.

Ashley McBryde
Four nominations, including album of the year

McBryde’s second album, Never Will, which reached No. 5 on Top Country Albums, is nominated for album of the year — her first in that category. McBryde is also nominated for female artist for the second time in three years and song of the year as both artist and co-writer of “One Night Standards,” the lead single from Never Will. The single reached No. 17 on Hot Country Songs. The Arkansas-bred singer-songwriter was nominated for song of the year in 2020 for “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.”

Thomas Rhett
Four nominations, including entertainer of the year

Rhett, who tied with Carrie Underwood for entertainer of the year at the last ACM Awards, is nominated in the category for the second year in a row. He is also nominated for male artist of the year for the fifth time. He won in that category in 2016 and 2018. Rhett’s other nods are music event of the year for “Be a Light” and song of the year for “Some People Do,” which he cowrote for Old Dominion. “Be a Light,” which features Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban, reached No. 7 on Hot Country Songs.

Ingrid Andress
Three nominations, including single of the year

Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine,” which reached No. 5 on Hot Country Songs, is nominated for single of the year; she is nominated both as artist and co-producer. The exquisite ballad, the lead single from her debut album, Lady Like, is this year’s only single of the year contender that was produced or co-produced by the artist. The Denver native is also nominated for new female artist of the year for the second year in a row. (The ACM Awards, unlike the Grammys, allows artists two nominations in new artist categories.)

Eric Church
Three nominations, including entertainer of the year

Church is nominated for entertainer of the year for the third time and male artist for a fourth. He’s also nominated for music event of the year for “Does to Me,” his hit duet with Luke Combs. The North Carolina-bred star was the ACM’s new solo vocalist of the year for 2010. In a unique move, he is set to release three studio albums in the space of a week: Heart is due April 16, followed by & on April 20 and Soul on April 23.

Luke Combs
Three nominations, including entertainer of the year

Combs is nominated for entertainer for the second year in a row, male artist — which he won in 2020 — for the third year in a row and music event of the year for the first time for “Does to Me,” his duet with Eric Church. The collaboration, which reached No. 1 on Country Airplay, was featured on Combs’ Billboard 200-topping sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get. Combs and Church are competing for both entertainer and male artist of the year.

HARDY
Three nominations, including new male artist of the year

Michael Hardy — who uses the moniker HARDY as a recording artist — is nominated for songwriter of the year for the second time in a row. He’s also nominated for new male artist and for music event of the year for “One Beer,” which features Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson. “One Beer,” the lead single from Hardy’s sophomore album, A Rock, reached No. 1 on Country Airplay. Hardy was nominated in four categories last year, mostly for his work on Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country.” (Dawson was one of Hardy’s collaborators on that song, which earned them both an ACM win as co-writers of the single of the year.)

Dann Huff (producer)
Three nominations, including album of the year

Huff is nominated for producer of the year — which he has won three times — for the 11th time. He is also nominated for album of the year as a co-producer of Kane Brown’s EP Mixtape Vol. 1 (which reached No. 2 on Top Country Albums). Huff has won album of the year twice, for co-producing Keith Urban’s Be Here (2004) and Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts (2006). Huff’s third nod is for music event of the year as producer of Thomas Rhett’s all-star charity single, “Be a Light.”

Carly Pearce
Three nominations, including single of the year

Pearce received two nominations for “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” her collaboration with Lee Brice. The track, which reached No. 1 on Country Airplay, was the second single from her sophomore self-titled album. It is nominated for single and music event of the year. Pearce is also nominated for female artist of the year for the first time. The Kentucky native was nominated for new female artist of the year for both 2017 and 2018.

Matthew Ramsey
Three nominations, including song of the year

Old Dominion’s Ramsey co-wrote the band’s “Some People Do,” which is a song of the year contender. The third single from the group’s third studio album, Old Dominion, reached No. 28 on Country Airplay. Ramsey also received two nominations as part of the group: Old Dominion is nominated in the song of the year category as the artist, and it’s also nominated for group of the year for the sixth time in a row. The Nashville quartet has won the award the last three years running.

Keith Urban
Three nominations, all for music event of the year

Urban, who hosted last year’s ACM Awards, has competing entries for music event of the year. He’s nominated as both artist and co-producer on “One Too Many,” his collaboration with P!nk, and as a featured artist on Rhett’s “Be a Light.” “One Too Many,” the third single from The Speed of Now Part 1, reached No. 13 on Hot Country Songs. Urban has won this category three times, for “Start a Band” (with Brad Paisley), “We Were Us” (with Miranda Lambert) and “The Fighter” (with Carrie Underwood).

This article originally appeared in the March 13, 2021, issue of Billboard.

Source: News | Billboard

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