Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett are early winners at the 2021 ACM Awards. The “Best Shot” singer and “I Hope” vocalist were named New Male Artist of the Year and New Female Artist of the Year, respectively, in an announcement on Thursday.
Keith Urban, who will co-host the ACM Awards this month with Mickey Guyton, delivered the news to Barrett and Allen via prerecorded congratulatory videos. “Ever since I came into the country music community everybody has been absolutely wonderful to me,” Barrett said. “Thank you so much, it’s more than I deserve…. This made the whole year for me.” An awestruck Allen received his news in the studio. “Stop playing!” he said, rising from his chair and bounding around the room.
Both Allen and Barrett are set to perform at the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, airing live on CBS on Sunday, April 18th, at 8 p.m. ET. Like last year’s show, the ACMs will originate from three separate venues in Nashville: the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry House, and the Bluebird Cafe.
Performers for the show were announced earlier this week. Eric Church, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Ryan Hurd, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, the War and Treaty, Keith Urban, and Chris Young are among those taking the stage.