Here's the Timeline of Key Dates & Deadlines Leading Up to 56th Annual ACM Awards

Carrie Underwood
Kevin Mazur/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM

Carrie Underwood accepts the Entertainer of the Year award onstage during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 16, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

It may seem a little early to focus on a 2021 awards show, but the eligibility year for the 56th annual ACM Awards is already three-fourths over.

The country community is still counting down to the CMT Music Awards, scheduled for Oct. 21, and the CMA Awards, set for Nov. 11, but the Academy of Country Music is already looking ahead to next year’s ACM Awards, set for April 18, 2021.

On Thursday (Oct. 1), the Academy of Country Music announced the submissions and ballot timeline for its professional voting membership for the 56th annual ACM Awards. It also announced that the membership application and renewal process has opened.

It may seem a little early to focus on next year's ACM Awards. This year's awards, where Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett tied for entertainer of the year, were held just two weeks ago (on Sept. 16). But that show was delayed five months by COVID-19. The eligibility period for the 56th annual ACM Awards is already three-fourths over. It runs from Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

Key dates for academy professional members for the 2020 ACM Awards cycle are as follows:

New membership/membership renewal period:  Oct. 1, 2020 - Dec. 1, 2020

Submissions period:  Dec. 1, 2020 - Jan. 8, 2021

First-round voting:  Jan. 19, 2021 – Jan. 26, 2021

Second-round voting:  Feb. 10, 2021 – Feb. 17, 2021

Final-round voting: March 17, 2021 – March 24, 2021

The academy is updating voting security by implementing a new double-authentication process through a mobile number (as opposed to a member’s email address). Members are encouraged to update their mobile phone number during the renewal window, as they pay their dues.

To apply online for membership, visit the ACM Membership platform at:

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