Miranda Lambert won the ACM Award for entertainer of the year for the first time on Monday (March 7). She’s the first woman to win the award since Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett tied for the award two years ago. She’s the first woman to win it outright since Taylor Swift won for the second year in a row 10 years ago.
In addition, Lambert and Elle King shared the award for video of the year for “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).” This extends Lambert’s record-setting tally of ACM Awards to 37 (that includes four non-competitive awards).
The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards were held at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and streamed live on Prime Video. Dolly Parton hosted the show, with an assist from co-hosts Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen.
Pearce won female vocalist of the year for the first time. And she won music event of the year for the second year in a row for “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” a collab with Ashley McBryde. Pearce won in that category (and also single of the year) last year for “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” a collab with Lee Brice.
Wilson won song of the year for her hit “Things a Man Oughta Know,” which she co-wrote with Jason Nix and Jonathan Singleton. She also won new female artist of the year.
Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album won album of the year. The album was the best-seller of 2021 in any genre, so its win could hardly be called a surprise. Still, many figured ACM voters would want to sidestep the firestorm Wallen created with his videotaped use of the N-word in early 2021 by going with another of the nominees. There were two especially strong choices available – Pearce’s 29: Written in Stone and Jack Ingram, Lambert and Jon Randall’s The Marfa Tapes.
“If I Didn’t Love You” by Jason Aldean and Underwood won single of the year. It’s the second win in the category for both artists. Aldean shared the prize 10 years ago for “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” a collab with Kelly Clarkson. Underwood won it 16 years ago for “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” Michael Knox produced both “If I Didn’t Love You” and “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”
As noted above, the Pearce/Brice collab “I Hope You’re Happy Now” won single of the year last year. This is the first time that collabs have won back-to-back awards in this category since 1983-85, when “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Parton, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias, and “Highwayman” by Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Nelson won in succession.
Chris Stapleton won male artist of the year for the third time. He beat, among others, Allen, who was vying to become the first artist of color to win in the category.
Old Dominion won group of the year for the fifth consecutive year. Only two other groups have won five or more awards in this category. Rascal Flatts leads with seven wins (2002-08). Alabama had six wins (1980-85).
The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards is produced by MRC Live & Alternative, which is owned by MRC. MRC is a co-owner of Billboard through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC.