56th ACM Awards – Full Recap & Performances

Last night the ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards took over Music City bringing a night full of inspiring music, acceptance speeches, and performances from venues all over town including The Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, the Bluebird Cafe, The Station Inn and more.


Live from the Station Inn War & Treaty backing Dierks Bentley in a bluegrass version of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)”.

Miranda Lambert and Elle King kicked off the night with their spunky track “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home) and Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton took the stage as co-hosts. It was incredible to hear actual audience members cheer on the genre’s biggest stars, a group of frontline workers were socially distanced throughout each of the venues.


Morris, who performed a steamy version of her duet “Chasing After You” with husband Ryan Hurd, took home two awards, Female Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “The Bones”. During her acceptance speech, she said. “I feel like this song has revealed so many new things to me that I didn’t know were possible the day I wrote it, this has just been a hell of a year. And hopefully, country music and maybe even this song brought you and your family and friends some peace.”


Carrie Underwood and gospel icon CeCe Winans shared an absolutely stunning medley from Underwood’s album My Savior. While Miranda Lambert joined Chris Stapleton at the Bluebird Cafe to perform one of his most personal songs written for his late dog, “Maggie’s Song”. Lambert, who is an avid dog lover and founder of Muttnation.com helps to find forever homes for rescue animals, was the perfect addition to the song. Stapleton went on to take home the prestigious award of Album of the Year for Starting Over.


In a touching tribute to those we’ve lost, Kenny Chesney sang his current single “Knowing You” while their photos flashed across the background. Mickey Guyton premiered a new song, “Hold On” which she said “I wrote this next song as a prayer. When faced with pain and uncertainty, I hope it inspires you to hold on.” Her powerful vocals with a beautiful choir behind her made this a standout performance.


Kimberly, Karen, and Jimmy of Little Big Town took to the streets on Broadway to perform “Wine Beer and Whiskey” while a hilarious cut out of Phillip, who is home recovering from COVID-19 watched on from the side. Luke Bryan, who was also quarantined recovering from COVID-19 was virtually brought to the audience to accept the highest honor of the night, Entertainer of the Year.

Overall, the 56th ACM Awards celebrated not only the incredible talent that is coming out of Nashville but the genre itself, proving that although artists were paused from touring during the pandemic that they are ready to share the stories and the live stage once again.

Full List of ACM Winners Below

Entertainer of the Year

Luke Bryan

Female Artist of the Year

Maren Morris

Album of the Year

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton

Male Artist of the Year

Thomas Rhett

Duo of the Year

Dan + Shay

Single of the Year

“I Hope Your Happy Now” – Carly Pearce feat. Lee Brice

Group of the Year

Old Dominion

New Female Artist of the Year

Gabby Barrett

New Male Artist of the Year

Jimmie Allen

Song of the Year

“The Bones” – written by Maren Morris, Jimmy Rabbins, and Laura Veltz

Video of the Year

“Worldwide Beautiful” – Kane Brown

Music Event of the Year

“I Hope Your Happy Now” – Carly Pearce and Lee Brice

To hear more of country music’s best new releases, head to our Playlists Page and follow The Nash New Releases playlist on Spotify. For the latest in country music news follow The Nash News on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

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