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Your 2021 ACM Awards Guide: How to Watch, Who's Performing and Which Country Stars Are Nominated

Lindsay Weinberg
·3 min read
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It's time to roll the windows down and crank up the country music, because the Academy of Country Music Awards is almost here.

The 56th annual award show is back again in Nashville, Tenn., this weekend and will be broadcast live from three of the city's most famous venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe.

Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton are going into the night with the most nominations at six each. But regardless of the trophies, it's set to be a big day for Maren, who will perform the world television premiere of the duet "Chasing After You" with her husband, Ryan Hurd.

So, who will take home the prizes? Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen have already been named the 2021 New Artists of the Year ahead of the show. As for the other categories, we'll have to wait and see on Sunday, April 18.

If you recall from last year, Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett made history when they tied for Entertainer of the Year at the 2020 ACM Awards last September. Seven months later, a new winner is about to be crowned.

Behind the Scenes With Maren Morris at the 2020 ACM Awards

Here's everything you need to know about the 2021 ACM Awards.

How can I watch the ACM Awards?

Tune in on Sunday, April 18, on CBS or stream it on Paramount+. It will air live at 8 p.m. ET and delayed at 8 p.m. PT as well.

Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton
Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton

Who is hosting the program?

After his successful hosting run in 2020, Keith Urban will return to co-host the special, along with Mickey Guyton. We'll be seeing a lot of them throughout the night, because the singers are each nominated for awards and will perform as well.

Who else is performing at the show?

Several artists will be providing the good vibes on Sunday night, as the broadcast is expected to be filled with musical moments.

Miranda Lambert, 2021 Grammy Awards, Performance
Miranda Lambert, 2021 Grammy Awards, Performance

In addition to Maren Morris, the country icons scheduled to take the stage include Miranda Lambert and Elle King singing "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)"; Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney singing "half of my hometown"; Carly Pearce and Lee Brice singing "I Hope You're Happy Now"; Kane Brown and Chris Young singing "Famous Friends"; and Dierks Bentley and The War and Treaty singing "Pride (In The Name Of Love)".

Also keep a lookout for performances by Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood, as well as Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Lady A, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Lee Brice, Brothers Osborne and Alan Jackson.

One face that won't be there is that of Luke Bryan. The American Idol judge tested positive for COVID-19 and decided not to perform at the event, his rep told Rolling Stone.

Kelsea Ballerini, 2020 CMT Awards, Best Dressed, Red Carpet Fashion
Kelsea Ballerini, 2020 CMT Awards, Best Dressed, Red Carpet Fashion

Who is nominated at the show?

Basically all of your favorite country music artists! Five men were nominated for Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton.

The Female Artist of the Year noms are Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris and Carly Pearce. In the guys' category, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton got nods in the Male Artist of the Year category.

And after these singles dominated radio stations for months, the nominees for Single of the Year are "Bluebird" by Miranda Lambert, "I Hope" by Gabby Barrett, "I Hope You're Happy Now" by Carly Pearce and Lee Brice, "More Hearts Than Mine" by Ingrid Andress and "The Bones" by Maren Morris.

See all the nominees here.