Keith Urban named ACM Entertainer of the Year for the first time
Winners have been announced for the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) which aired live earlier this evening (Sun, Apr 7th), hosted by iconic entertainer and 16-time ACM Award winner, Reba McEntire, on the CBS Television Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The ACM Awards named Keith Urban as Entertainer of the Year, his first win in the category and the evening’s biggest honor. With this win, he will receive the prestigious ACM Triple Crown Award, as he previously received awards for New Male Vocalist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.
Dan + Shay won Duo of the Year as well as Song of the Year and Single of the Year for “Tequila.” In addition to the wins as an artist, Dan Smyers received two individual wins as a producer in the Single of the Year category and songwriter in the Song of the Year category.
Kacey Musgraves won Female Artist of the Year for the first time. She also won Album of the Year as both artist and producer, for Golden Hour. Musgraves previously won in the Album of the Year category in 2013 for Same Trailer Different Park. Thomas Rhett won Male Vocalist of the Year for the second time. He first won the award at the 52nd ACM Awards in 2017.
During the telecast, former ACM Artist of the Decade Award honoree George Strait presented Jason Aldean with the ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award. In celebration of the honor, Aldean performed a medley of his hits including “Lights Come On,” “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson and “Dirt Road Anthem.”
Old Dominion won Group of the Year Award for the second consecutive year. During the ACM Awards red carpet, Songwriter of the Year winner Shane McAnally surprised Old Dominion on the red carpet at the PEOPLE Digital Red Carpet Pre-Show with the news of their win. Earlier in the day it was also announced Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne won Music Event of the Year for “Burning Man,” and Chris Janson won ACM Video of the Year” for “Drunk Girl.” McEntire surprised Janson with the news backstage before the show.
Luke Combs, LANCO and Ashley McBryde were also previously announced winners of the New Male Artist of the Year, New Group of the Year and New Female Artist of the Year, respectively and each performed on the show. The winners received a surprise phone call from host Carrie Underwood last month notifying them of the news.
Shane McAnally was announced as the winner of this year’s ACM Songwriter of the Year Award on Friday at the ACM Stories, Songs & Stars: A Songwriter’s Event Benefitting ACM Lifting Lives, which was presented to him by the event’s hosts Hillary Scott and Storme Warren, alongside reigning ACM Songwriter of the Year winner, Rhett Akins.
Country Music’s Party of the Year featured an all-star lineup of collaborations and memorable performances. The awards telecast once again featured “ACM Flashbacks” with 29-time ACM Award-winning duo Brooks & Dunn performing “Brand New Man” with Luke Combs, and the King of Country Music and 24-time ACM Award winner George Strait performing “Run” with Miranda Lambert. In addition, Lambert, the most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history with 32 wins, performed a flashback medley of her greatest hits.
Chrissy Metz, star of the upcoming movie Breakthrough, made her live television performance debut at the ACM Awards and was joined on stage by Lauren Alaina, Mickey Guyton, Maddie & Tae and Carrie Underwood for a special rendition of the song “I’m Standing With You” from the film’s soundtrack. The powerful performance spotlighted ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music.
The awards telecast also featured solo performances by Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Additional highlights included collaborations by Dierks Bentley & Brandi Carlile performing “Travelin’ Light,” Kane Brown and Khalid performing “Good as You” & “Saturday Nights,” Eric Church & Ashley McBryde performing “The Snake,” Dan + Shay & Kelly Clarkson performing “Keeping Score,” Florida Georgia Line & Jason Aldean performing “Can’t Hide Red” and Maren Morris & Brothers Osborne performing “All My Favorite People.”
Following is the list of winners in the 14 categories voted on by the membership:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
DUO OF THE YEAR
Dan + Shay
GROUP OF THE YEAR
NEW FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
NEW MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
NEW DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
Producers: Ian Fitchuk / Daniel Tashian / Kacey Musgraves
Record Label: MCA Nashville
SINGLE OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
Tequila – Dan + Shay
Producers: Scott Hendricks / Dan Smyers
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville
SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
Tequila – Dan + Shay
Writers: Nicolle Galyon / Jordan Reynolds / Dan Smyers
Publishers: Beats and Banjos (ASCAP), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP), A Girl Named Charlie (BMI) / Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) / Buckeye26 (ASCAP) / Jreynmusic (ASCAP)
VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] (Off Camera Award)
Drunk Girl – Chris Janson
Producer: Ben Skipworth
Director: Jeff Venable
MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)] (Off Camera Award)
Burning Man – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
Producers: Ross Copperman / Jon Randall Stewart / Arturo Buenahora Jr.
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR (Off Camera Award)
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.