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ACM Awards 2021: Everything You Need to Know About the Ceremony Returning to Nashville

Tomás Mier
·4-min read
ACM Awards 2021: Everything You Need to Know About the Ceremony Returning to Nashville

The ACMs are here!

The Academy of Country Music Awards are returning to Nashville and are set to honor the biggest stars in country music this Sunday.

Hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, the awards show returns to Nashville this April after airing from several iconic locations there in mid-September last year due to the pandemic.

Here's everything you need to know about the big night:

Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton will host

Urban returns for a second consecutive year to host the awards show alongside new female artist of the year nominee Guyton.

"What is my life right now?! Thank you @keithurban and I cannot wait to join you as co-host of the @acmawards on April 18th," Guyton wrote about the news.

"I'm beyond thrilled to be co-hosting with my friend Mickey," said Urban in a statement. "I love that finally everyone will get to see her infectious energy and uber-creative spirit in full light."

RELATED GALLERY: 12 Must-See Throwback Photos of This Year's ACM Award Nominees on Red Carpets from Years Past

As for Guyton, she said that she has "long admired" Urban and looks forward to becoming the "first-ever Black woman to host the show."

"This is a moment of great significance for me and I am so thrilled to share it with all the fans," she said.

Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton lead in nominations — and the nod list is quite historic

Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton are up for the most awards with six each. Both are nominated in the song of the year category for "The Bones" and "Starting Over," respectively.

Falling just behind is Miranda Lambert with five nominations and Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett with four nods each. As for the coveted entertainer of the year category, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett and Stapleton are nominated.

John Shearer/Getty;Jason Kempin/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty Jimmie Allen; Mickey Guyton; Kane Brown

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Making history this year, four Black artists are nominated for awards: Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Mickey Guyton and John Legend, who's a first-time nominee. Also for the first time, every nominated song for single of the year features a woman.

Notably absent from the nominations list is Morgan Wallen, whose eligibility was halted earlier this month after using a racial slur.

And four categories already have winners! Allen and Gabby Barrett won the best new male and female artist categories, respectively.

"I don't really know what to say — this is unbelievable," the American Idol alum said accepting her award. "Thank you so much; this is such an honor. Ever since I came into the country-music community, everybody's been absolutely wonderful to me."

Check out PEOPLE's full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on one of country music's biggest nights.

Kane Brown took home video of the year, while Carly Pearce and Lee Brice were awarded music event of the year.

"When everything started coming out in the media, we felt like it was time to release it," Brown explained, referring to the racially-driven social unrest currently plaguing the nation. "Our fans were asking for it. I couldn't ask for it to come out any better than it did."

Here's the full list of nominations.

Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church and more will perform

Expect a performance-filled awards show Sunday night!

Opening the show will be Lambert and Elle King singing their duet "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)." Also during the show, Carrie Underwood will hit the stage for a medley from her recent My Savior album, while Kenny Chesney will play "Knowing You."

Jason Kempin/Getty; Kevin Winter/Getty; Jason Kempin/Getty; Francis Specker/CBS via Getty From left: Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert

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Brothers Osborne will hit the stage "I'm Not For Everyone," Combs will perform "Forever After All" while Dan + Shay will play "Glad You Exist."

The night will also feature onstage collabs and several premieres: Morris will play "Chasing After You" with Ryan Hurd, Chris Young will join Kane Brown for "Famous Friends" while Dierks Bentley will play U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" with The War and Treaty.

Here's the full list of performers.

A mix of presenters are scheduled

Ingrid Andress, Blanco Brown, Amy Grant, Leslie Jordan, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker and Clay Walker are expected to present the awards.

Watch on CBS and Paramount+

The 2021 ACM Awards will air live from Nashville on April 18 from 8-11 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+.