Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton emerged as the leading nominees with six each when the nominations for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards were announced Friday morning.

Morris’ strong showing is due in part to the success of her song “The Bones,” which landed her nominations for Single of the Year and Song of the Year (Morris co-wrote the crossover hit). As an artist, she’s up for Female Artist of the Year and, as a member of the Highwomen, for Group of the Year.

Stapleton’s nominations arrive on the back of his latest album, Starting Over. He scored nominations for Album of the Year and Song of the Year (for the LP’s title track) and artist recognition in the Male Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year categories.

Other top nominees include Miranda Lambert with five, and Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett with four apiece. Rhett is up for Entertainer of the Year, the top prize he shared in a tie with Carrie Underwood at the 2020 ACMs. Underwood scored only one nomination this time: Video of the Year for “Hallelujah,” her collaboration with John Legend off Underwood’s holiday album My Gift.

Along with Thomas Rhett, the Entertainer of the Year category includes four other male performers — Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, and Chris Stapleton. All women dominate the Single of the Year field, however: Morris, Lambert, Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, and Carly Pearce (Pearce duets with Lee Brice on her song “I Hope You’re Happy Now”).

The 56th ACM Awards will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday, April 18th, at 8 p.m. ET. Like last year’s show, the 2021 installment will be held across three venues in Nashville, including the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Cafe.

Here are this year’s nominees:

Entertainer of the Year

Luke Bryan

Eric Church

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Female Artist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Maren Morris

Carly Pearce

Male Artist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

Group of the Year

Lady A

Little Big Town

Old Dominion

The Cadillac Three

The Highwomen

New Female Artist of the Year

Ingrid Andress

Tenille Arts

Gabby Barrett

Mickey Guyton

Caylee Hammack

New Male Artist of the Year

Jimmie Allen

Travis Denning


Cody Johnson

Parker McCollum

Album of the Year

Born Here Live Here Die Here, Luke Bryan

Mixtape Vol. 1, Kane Brown

Never Will,  Ashley McBryde

Skeletons, Brothers Osborne

Starting Over, Chris Stapleton

Single of the Year

“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert

“I Hope,” Gabby Barrett

“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce and Lee Brice

“More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress

“The Bones,” Maren Morris

Song of the Year

“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert (Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby)

“One Night Standards,” Ashley McBryde (Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally)

“Some People Do,” Old Dominion (Jesse Frasure, Matt Ramsey, Thomas Rhett, Shane McAnally)

“Starting Over,” Chris Stapleton (Chris Stapleton, Mike Henderson)

“The Bones,” Maren Morris (Jimmy Robbins, Maren Morris, Laura Veltz)

Video of the Year

“Better Than We Found It,” Maren Morris

“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert

“Gone,” Dierks Bentley

“Hallelujah,” Carrie Underwood and John Legend

“Worldwide Beautiful,” Kane Brown

Songwriter of the Year

Ashley Gorley

Michael Hardy

Hillary Lindsey

Shane McAnally

Josh Osborne

Music Event of the Year

“Be a Light,” Thomas Rhett featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban

“Does to Me,” Luke Combs featuring Eric Church

“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Carly Pearce & Lee Brice

“Nobody But You,” Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani

“One Beer,” Hardy featuring Lauren Alaina & Devin Dawson

“One Too Many,” Keith Urban, Pink