AceShowbiz - Luke Bryan and Maren Morris have come out as big winners at the recently concluded 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. The former, who wasn't able to attend the show after he tested positive for COVID-19, bagged the top prize of Entertainer of the Year, beating out Eric Church, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton.
Appearing via a video, he said of his win, "I'm in L.A., oh my god. Y'all got me. I'm amazingly surprised. What an honor." He continued, "To the ACM, I'm so sorry I could not be there. I missed certainly being able to do my song. And all the winners tonight, congratulations. Oh my god. Y'all got me!"
Bryan then thanked his team, his wife Caroline and their children Thomas, 13, and Tatum, 10. "And to all my fans out there and country radio. We've missed touring, we've missed being on the road with everybody that makes me an entertainer," he added to his fans.
The 44-year-old delivered a positive message to his fans, "What a challenging year, but to all the fans and everybody, we'll be back out on the road doing what we love," before concluding his speech, "What an amazing honor. I love you guys."
It's Bryan's third ACM entertainer of the year award after winning it in 2013 and 2015.
Also winning big that night was Maren Morris. The "My Church" singer took home Female Artist of the Year for the second consecutive year, edging out fellow nominees namely Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde and Carly Pearce. She won another award that night for Song of the Year with her hit "The Bones".
Thomas Rhett was named Male Artist of the Year, which was also vied by Dierks Bentley, Church, Combs and Stapleton. Dan + Shay snatched the Duo of the Year title for the third consecutive year, while Old Dominion was still undefeated as Group of the Year, marking their fourth ACM win in the category.
Despite losing in other categories, Stapleton didn't come home empty handed as he won Album of the Year with "Starting Over". Single of the Year went to Carly Pearce and Lee Brice with their duet "I Hope You're Happy Now", which was also announced as the winner of Music Event of the Year prior to the televised event.
This year's ACM Awards was broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe. Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton served as the hosts.
Winners of 2021 ACM Awards: