The 55th ACM Awards show wrapped up with a big surprise, announcing two Entertainers of The Year at last night's (Wednesday, Sept. 16th) show held in Nashville for the first time ever. Host Keith Urban seemed shocked when he opened the envelope to read that both Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett had tied for first place. This was the first time it has happened in ACM Awards history. When accepting, Carrie summed it up by saying, “2020 man!”
Due to the pandemic, artists appeared in front of empty seats from three venues around Music City — Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and Bluebird Cafe. During a three hour period, the show flawlessly switched from one stage to the next.
Among the stand-out performances, the show opened with back-to-back songs from all Entertainer of The Year nominees.
Trisha Yearwood honored the legends of country music that died over the past year. She sang “I’ll Carry You Home,” a song from her, Every Girl album.
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed “Happy Anywhere” in front of a green screen that virtually turned into the Bluebird Cafe at the snap of his fingers. Blake also won Single of the Year for “God’s Country.”
In another genre crossover event, Keith Urban and Pink did their song, “One Too Many” with a wall separating them for social distancing. It wasn’t clear whether her part was pre-recorded or not.
In categories that are highly sought after, Luke Combs accepted awards for Album of The Year for What You See Is What You Get, as well as Male Artist of The Year. He also performed “Better Together.”
It was a big night for 30-year-old Maren Morris, winning Female Artist of the Year for the first time. In the middle of what may be the most quoted speech of the evening, she blurted out, “Oh my God, I have to pee!” Earlier in the evening, she won for her collaboration with Miranda Lambert and others on “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.”
Of their 5 nominations, Old Dominion took home two awards, for Group and Song of the Year. Their performance included a medley of their #1 hits.
And Taylor Swift came home to country music for the night and did an acoustic version of her song “Betty.”
Here is the complete list of winners:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR (TIE)
Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett
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
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
What You See Is What You Get, Luke Combs
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
"God's Country" Blake Shelton
SONG OF THE YEAR
"One Man Band" Old Dominion
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
"Remember You Young" Thomas Rhett
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR
“Fooled Around And Fell In Love” Miranda Lambert Featuring Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack & Elle King
In clip one, Blake Shelton accepts the award for Single of the Year Gods Country.
- ["Holy cow, Single of the Year. This is a complete shock and an absolute honor."] SOUNDCUE (:08 OC: . . .and an absolute honor.)
In clip two, Carrie Underwood accepts award as she ties Thomas Rhett for Entertainer of the Year.
- ["2020 man. Thank you God, so much. All glory, glory to God. Thank you to the ACM, not just for this, but for putting me in such incredible company. I am more than happy to share this with Thomas Rhett and just to have my name mentioned with his and Luke and Luke and Eric Church, I am beyond honored. Thank you."] SOUNDCUE (:24 OC: . . .honored. Thank you.)
In clip three, Dan Smyers of Dan and Shay accepting for Duo of the Year.
- ["Oh my goodness, this is amazing. What a great way to start off the night, first of all I know I will start rambling because these things make me so nervous. It is my wife's birthday, Abbey, happy birthday. I wish you were here, I miss you so much. I love you, hope you have the best birthday ever, I will be home to you soon. The Academy of Country Music, thank you so much for voting for us, this is amazing. We are so proud to be part of this country music family. The country music fans are the best in the entire world, thank you guys for continuing to support us and make our dreams come true."] SOUNDCUE (:27 OC: . . .dreams come true.)
In clip four, Keith Urban congratulates Miranda Lambert on her 35th win.
- ["(Keith) What a perfect venue to play with the writers, by the way, and for folks who don't know, Miranda also won the Vocal Event of the Year. Miranda, congrats. (Miranda) Yeah, with my girl pals, so excited. (Keith) Oh yeah. And this makes Miranda, this is your 35th ACM Award. 35, that means Miranda has won more ACMs than any human who has ever walked the planet or Venus apprantely. So that is special. (Miranda) I like that. Sounds better when you are saying it like that, it makes it a big deal."] SOUNDCUE (:31 OC: . . .makes it a big deal.)
In clip five, Keith Urban sends good wishes to Blanco Brown.
- ["Tonight, our thoughts are with Blanco Brown. Blanco was supposed to be here with us but as some of you may or may not know, he was involved in a very serious accident but we hear that he is on the way to recovery and that is really good news. Our hearts with are with you tonight Blanco."] SOUNDCUE (:18 OC: . . .you tonight Blanco.)
In clip six, Luke Combs accepts for Male Artist of the Year.
- ["This is a lot to process right now. I just can't believe this. I just want to thank everybody in my life, my team and my beautiful wife, and the fans, man, I mean you guys have done everything for me and I love you so much and I can't wait to keep working and keep making you proud. Thank you so much. Thank you country music. I love you guys and just thank you."] SOUNDCUE (:28 OC: . . .and just thank you.)
In clip seven, Maren Morris accepts for Female Artist of the Year.
- ["This is so weird talking to no one but I have so many people to thank. I will try to make it short but this is an award I never thought I would get to win so thank you to the voters. Thank you to my beautiful husband and my new baby boy, Haze, who is definitely asleep right now. I hope. Oh my God, I have to pee. Thank you so much, I'm never going to forget this. Thank you to Sony, thank you to my team, Janet at Red Light, thank you CAA. This is so crazy. Thank you country music and vote."] SOUNDCUE (:33 OC: . . .country music and vote.)
In clip eight, Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion accepts for Song of the Year One Man Band.
- ["This is not what I thought I would say but we're sitting here in this empty room and I can hear Andrew our friend that passed away… I can hear him saying, I know who you are. Like he used to yell that at us. And I can feel… I can feel your dad, Josh, smiling. I can feel how proud he is right now. I can feel your brother. I can feel him, I can feel them all. They are so proud. And this is such an honor to receive this in their presence. Thank you guys for this."] SOUNDCUE (:36 OC: . . .Thank you guys for this.)
In clip nine, Thomas Rhett accepts award as he ties Carrie Underwood for Entertainer of the Year.
- ["Oh my goodness gracious. Keith, what is happening right now? Okay, have I 27 seconds. Thank you to the Lord, Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior. Thank you so much to my wife, my baby girls who are watching this right now, Willa Gray, I love you, Ada James, I love you, Lennon I love you. To my management, to my record label, to my publishers, to Live Nation, everyone that made this possible, to my band and crew who have put in countless hours just making our show what it is. Thank you to the fans, thank you to the ACMs, I love you, I love you. Thank you."] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . .love you. Thank you.)
Dan + Shay's Shay Mooney on Duo of the Year win: ["Honestly, this means more to us now than ever. I think we haven't had that experience of being able to go out and tour and be able to go out there and really feel how our career is going. You know, it's kind of just been a blank slate up to this point of not really knowing what's going on so getting to do something like this and have recognition from our peers and from the Academy of Country Music means a lot. Right now more than ever it just feels really great to be here and to be able to be recognized is just an incredible honor and it never gets old."] SOUNDCUE (:3O OC: . . . never gets old.)
Maren Morris on winning her first Female Artist of the Year award: ["When I vote on that award in years past it's for not the best singer of the bunch but I feel like that goes to someone that your peers think had a massive, monumental year, so I am just so humbled that my Nashville community, my industry peeps think that my year has been big because part of it has been in 2020, which has been kind of a sh** show, so I feel like someone saying I had a good year is so much validation."] SOUNDCUE (:31 OC: . . . so much validation.)
Old Dominion's Matthew Ramsey on giving acceptance speech to empty venue: ["Strange (laughs). It was very strange. There's no other way to say it. I knew I was gonna have to do it but I just thought, 'Okay, I'll just look at the camera and envision everyone at home,' but I couldn't find the camera so it really just was like speaking to a big, empty room, so it felt odd."] SOUNDCUE (:2O OC: . . . it felt odd.)
Luke Combs on how two ACM wins and getting married have turned 2020 around for him: ["I constantly think about how lucky I am and how grateful I am to be in the situation that I am and to get married this year was a really amazing bright spot in my life, and to have tonight on top of it and just to be with a really small, concise group of people that I love has just been amazing. I couldn've never imagined taking two awards home tonight and I'm just thankful for my team and for my wife and for my family and for the fans, and I'm just grateful to be the guy standing here talking to you, that's all."] SOUNDCUE (:31 OC: . . . you, that's all.)
Thomas Rhett on winning Entertainer and tying for the award with Carrie Underwood: ["When I was standing backstage and I was listening to Keith call the names I was just like, 'There's no way,' and when he said there was a tie I was just like, 'Oh my gosh this is amazing.' First time in ACM history that anyone has ever tied for Entertainer of the Year and for me to get to tie this award with Carrie Underwood is just mind blowing. I've worked so hard to even be thought of for the nomination of this category. We've just put countless hours in rehearsing and making our show as entertaining as it can possibly be, and so tonight to get to share that with Carrie is absolutely a dream come true."] SOUNDCUE (:30 OC: . . . dream come true.)
Carrie Underwood on female artists make strides in Country music based on ACM Awards performers: ["You know, we've been taking steps in the right direction for a while now which is really nice to see, and like tonight, not only having newer artists — Tenille Townes and Mickey Guyton — get to get on stage and do what they do, but also me getting to honor some of the women that we're all standing on their shoulders, as I said, so I think it was a really great night for females in Country music and I look forward to more."] SOUNDCUE (:29 OC: . . . forward to more.)
ACM AWARDS 2020 Blake Shelton accepts the award for Single of the Year Gods Country :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Carrie Underwood accepts award as she ties Thomas Rhett for Entertainer of the Year :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Dan Smyers of Dan and Shay accepting for Duo of the Year :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Keith Urban congratulates Miranda Lambert on her 35th win :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Keith Urban sends good wishes to Blanco Brown :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Luke Combs accepts for Male Artist of the Year :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Maren Morris accepts for Female Artist of the Year :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion accepts for Song of the Year One Man Band :
ACM AWARDS 2020 Thomas Rhett accepts award as he ties Carrie Underwood for Entertainer of the Year :
Carrie Underwood On Females Making Strides At ACM Awards 2020 :
Dan + Shay’s Shay Mooney On ACM Duo Win 2020 :
Luke Combs On 2020 Being Good Year ACMS :
Maren Morris On Female Win ACM 2020 :
Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey On No Audience At ACMs 2020 :
Thomas Rhett On Tying ACM Entertainer Award With Carrie Underwood :