2019 ACM Nominations


The nominees for the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards have just been announced. The show airs live on Sunday, April 7 on CBS at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/ 7:00 Central, with Reba McEntire returning as host. Share your thoughts on this year’s nominees in the comments section below.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Who’s In: Kenny Chesney

Who’s Out: Garth Brooks

Male Artist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Who’s In: Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs

Who’s Out: Jason Aldean, Chris Young

Female Artist of the Year

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

Who’s In: Ashley McBryde, Kacey Musgraves

Who’s Out: Kelsea Ballerini, Reba McEntire

Duo of the Year

  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • LoCash
  • Maddie & Tae

Who’s In: Maddie & Tae

Who’s Out: Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Lanco
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion

Who’s In: No one

Who’s Out: No one

New Female Artist of the Year

  • Danielle Bradbery
  • Lindsay Ell
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Carly Pearce

New Male Artist of the Year

  • Jimmie Allen
  • Luke Combs
  • Jordan Davis
  • Michael Ray
  • Mitchell Tenpenny

New Duo or Group of the Year

  • High Valley
  • Lanco
  • Runaway June

Album of the Year

  • Dan + Shay – Dan + Shay
    • Produced by Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers and Matt Dragstrem
  • Desperate Man – Eric Church
    • Produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora Jr.
  • From a Room, Vol. 2 – Chris Stapleton
    • Produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton
  • Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
    • Produced by Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian and Kacey Musgraves
  • The Mountain – Dierks Bentley
    • Produced by Ross Copperman, Jon Randal Stewart and Arturo Buenahora Jr.

Single Record of the Year

  • “Down to the Honkytonk” – Jake Owen
    • Produced by Joey Moi
  • “Heaven” – Kane Brown
    • Produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora Jr.
  • “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line
    • Produced by Wilshire for Rock the Soul Entertainment
  • “Most People Are Good” – Luke Bryan
    • Produced by Jeff Stevens and Jody Stevens
  • “Tequila” – Dan + Shay
    • Produced by Scott Henricks and Dan Smyers

Song of the Year

  • “Break Up in the End” – Cole Swindell
    • Written by Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill and Jon Nite
  • “Broken Halos” – Chris Stapleton
    • Written by Mike Henderson and Chris Stapleton
  • “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line
    • Written by David Garcia, Tyler Hubbard and Joshua Miller
  • “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgraves
    • Written by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves
  • “Tequila” – Dan + Shay
    • Written by Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds and Dan Smyers
  • “Yours” – Russell Dickerson
    • Written by Casey Brown Russell Dickerson and Parker Welling

Video of the Year

  • “Babe” – Sugarland featuring Taylor Swift
    • Produced by Roger Hunt
    • Directed by Anthony Mandler
  • “Burn Out” – Midland
    • Produced by Ben Skipworth
    • Directed by TK McKamy and Cameron Duddy
  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
    • Produced by Nate Eggert
    • Directed by Wes Edwards
  • “Drunk Girl” – Chris Janson
    • Produced by Ben Skipworth
    • Directed by Jeff Venable
  • “Shoot Me Straight” – Brothers Osborne
    • Produced by April Kimbrell
    • Directed by Wes Edwards and Ryan Silver
  • “Tequila” – Dan + Shay
    • Produced by Christen Pinkston
    • Directed by Patrick Tracy

Music Event of the Year

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne
    • Produced by Ross Copperman, Jon Randal Stewart and Arturo Buenahora Jr.
  • “Drowns the Whiskey” – Jason Aldean featuring Miranda Lambert
    • Produced by Michael Knox
  • “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” – David Lee Murphy featuring Kenny Chesney
    • Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy
  • “Keeping Score” – Dan + Shay featuring Kelly Clarkson
    • Produced by Scott Hendricks and Dan Smyers
  • “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line
    • Produced by Wilshire for Rock the Soul Entertainment

Songwriter of the Year

  • Ross Copperman
  • Ashley Gorley
  • Shane McAnally
  • Chase McGill
  • Josh Osborne


  1. These nominations are not it from “Broken Halos” getting a song of the year nom over any of Luke Combs songs is nonsense. Miranda getting female nom is completely laughable

  2. Maybe I am crazy, but am I the only one who thinks Runaway June has a shot at New Duo or Group? They are the only one of the 3 acts that has a song out on the radio so they are real fresh with voters minds. I still put their chances at like 30%, but I don’t think they are out 100%. Especially given how well their current single is climbing up the charts.

    Overall a solid group. Love seeing Kelsea Ballerini fans pissed she didn’t get in for Female Vocalist. Makes me happy.

    While I would’ve loved for a female to get into Entertainer. There were no viable options. Carrie Underwood has been underwhelming with radio and didn’t tour, Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves are too new and Miranda Lambert didn’t do a lot as a solo artist this past year.

  3. The ACM’s always have their usual random, bizarre nominations (Dan & Shay for album, “Down to the Honkey Tonk” for single, “Yours” for song). But, honestly…this group of nominations is not bad, and maybe a slight better than the CMA’s. Even in the case of the single of the year category, which has songs I mostly dislike…I can at least understand why all of the nominees are there (sans Owen) from a sales/airplay perspective. I echo the Ashley Mcbryde love, but am a bit disappointed she didn’t get an album of the year nod…if you swap her album in for Dan & Shay, you have five really good nominees there.

    Still, I can’t get too mad…they at least had the sense to not nominate “GraffitiU” for anything. For that alone…they deserve kudos.

  4. Gabe,

    As long as women on country radio remain scarce, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood will be permanently inked on the Female Vocalist ballots at the ACM and CMA Awards, even if they are completely inactive during the year being recognized.

  5. I don’t mind it at all when artists express disappointment that they didn’t get recognized for something, but I don’t like it when an artist acts *entitled* to recognition. Didn’t like the tantrum Justin Moore threw a couple of years ago, and I don’t like that Ballerini tweeted “Wow…” and then deleted it.

    Yes, she was, with Morris, one of exactly two women radio consistently supported last year. But that alone doesn’t mean she was entitled to awards nominations. I was already thrilled to see McBryde make the cut for Female Artist based upon the superior quality of her work, but Ballerini’s petulance only makes me even happier about it.

    McBryde should also have been up for Album Of The Year instead of Dan+Shay, but this is lining up to be a big night for them. I’d say they’re a lock to unseat Brothers Osborne— though there’s no comparison between the two acts in terms of quality, to my ears— in the Duo category, and “Tequila” is a decent bet for Single and Song.

    If Tim McGraw & Faith Hill count as both a Duo and an Event, I cannot fathom— other than latent sexism, because *clearly* that’s an issue— why Pistol Annies have never been recognized as either a Group or an Event. I’d have had them in the Album, Group, and Music Video categories this year, no question. I love Lambert, of course, but to say she was even eligible for Female Artist based on her solo output last year— other than her tour and CMHoF residence— is a hell of a stretch.

    I agree with @Raymond about Runaway June having a good look at their category; I hope that’s not just wishful thinking…

    Perhaps my favorite nomination, though, is for ace fiddler Jenee Fleenor in the Specialty Instrumentalist category. She becomes the first woman in the history of *either* the ACMs or CMAs to earn a nomination in their respective Musician or Instrumentalist categories. She’s a tremendous musician, and it is absurd that it has taken until 2019 for a woman to be recognized in one of these categories.

  6. @PSU

    I can’t believe I didn’t realize until you said it that Grafitti U was shut out. Finally, the streak of recognition for Urban’s god-awful late-career albums comes to an end! I won’t begrudge him for Entertainer, necessarily, because he gives his all on stage, but Lord God, his last two albums have been atrocious and not at all deserving of the nominations they’ve received.

  7. @ Jonathan Keefe re. artists acting like they are “entitled” to ACM nominations:

    Spot on. If an artist acts like they’re somehow “entitled” to a nomination, let alone to win, then that only raises the suspicion that they are doing this for prizes. And as Linda Ronstadt said in her CBS Sunday Morning interview on February 3rd: “If you’re working for prizes, you’re in big trouble.”

  8. @Jonathan Keefe

    I didn’t notice that about Jenee Fleenor, but that’s fantastic. I went to youtube to check out of some of her work, and was quite impressed. She’s a decent vocalist as well. It’s a shame these female artists fly under the radar like that. Being a bluegrass fan, I always go back to the IBMA’s, and how they have been really cool with awarding instrumentalists like Kristen Scott Benson, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, etc. It would be nice to see more of that, eventually, with the country music industry award show, because the talent is out there. (Then again, they still have to figure out getting more than 2 females in the top 20 of a country radio chart).

  9. Just a small comment from a long time reader. Please, please do a review of Lori McKenna’s “The Tree”. I would love to hear this sites thoughts on it.

  10. @Router14,

    We didn’t do a full-length review of The Tree, but it ranked on our Top Albums of 2018, and I did a capsule review of it there. “People Get Old” also ranked highly on our Top Singles of 2018 list, and Kevin wrote a review of that!

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