2016 ACM Awards Complete Preview


(Tune in Sunday night for Saving Country Music’s LIVE Blog of the ACM Awards)


When: 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 on CBS.

Where: MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Hosts: Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley.


Another big night for Chris Stapleton. Nobody is up for more awards, and having already won for New Male Vocalist of the Year, and contending strongly for Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year, Chris Stapleton could end up with another monster night, and extend his stratospheric rise that has made him the best-selling country artist in the last 18 months. Chris Stapleton also performs during the presentation.

An awards show without many awards. It’s not that the ACM’s don’t have any awards, it’s that most of them will be given out by the time the actual telecast starts. Aside from the big major awards like Male and Female Vocalists, Album and Entertainer of the Year, pretty much the rest of the awards have been or will be given out (see below). There’s a good chance we may go an hour into the telecast without seeing one award bestowed. Taking the place of awards are more performances. This year there will be 25 total performers, not counting any surprises. Last year for the 50th Annual awards (which were 30 minutes longer), there were only 19 performers. One bright spot is there are seven female performers compared to last year’s measly four.

Tribute paid to Dolly Parton and Joey Feek. There will not be many interesting moments for traditional country fans on the 2016 ACM Awards. But one will be when Dolly Parton is dished out the Tex Ritter Award for her TV Movie Coat of Many Colors. And country singer Joey Feek of Joey+Rory will be honored during the telecast. Dolly Parton will also perform, but it will be with pop diva Katy Perry, so . . .


Artist presenters include: Chris Janson, Jana Kramer, Martina McBride, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Maddie & Tae, Jake Owen, Chase Rice, Garth Brooks (via satellite)?, and Cole Swindell.

Non-artist presenters include: Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell, Miss America Betty Cantrell, pro football player Von Miller, and actor Tom Hiddleston who plays Hank Williams in the new biopic I Saw The Light.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland who has launched his own country music career will also be a presenter.


Luke Bryan will open the show, probably with his latest single “Huntin’ Fishin’ & Lovin’ Every Day.”

” Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top will perform ZZ Top’s song “Tush.” Keith Urban will also sing his new single “Wasted Time.”

” Dolly Parton will perform with Katy Perry.

” Kelsea Ballerini will perform with Nick Jonas.

” Little Big Town will perform with Trombone Shorty, who also appears on Dierks Bentley’s upcoming album.

” Chris Young and Cassadee Pope will perform the duet “Think of You.”

” Blake Shelton will perform his new song “Came Here to Forget.”

” Tim McGraw will perform “Humble and Kind” and feature photos sent in from fans.

” Jason Aldean will perform his brand new song “Lights Come On.”

” Carrie Underwood will sing “Church Bells.”

” Florida Georgia Line chooses “Confession” for their performance.

” Charles Kelley will perform new single “Lonely Girl”

” Thomas Rhett plays “Die A Happy Man.”

” Kenny Chesney is likely to play his new single “Noise.”

” LATE BREAKING: Sources say that Chris Stapleton will end the show.


  • Brett Eldredge
  • Cam
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Keith Urban
  • Old Dominion
  • Sam Hunt
  • Cole Swindell


***Read Saving Country Music’s Picks & Prognostications***

Many Awards Have Already Been Handed Out:

  • New Male Vocalist of the Year – Chris Stapleton
  • New Female Vocalist of the Year – Kelsea Ballerini
  • New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year – Old Dominion
  • Vocal Duo of the Year – Florida Georgia Line
  • Video of the Year – Eric Church’s “Mr. Misunderstood”


Entertainer of the Year

” Jason Aldean
” Garth Brooks
” Luke Bryan
” Eric Church
” Miranda Lambert


Album of the Year

I’m Comin’ Over Chris Young
Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
Record Label: RCA Records

Montevallo Sam Hunt
Producers: Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally
Record Label: MCA Nashville

Mr. Misunderstood Eric Church
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: EMI Records Nashville

Tangled Up Thomas Rhett
Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Chris DeStefano, Joe London
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

Traveller Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Record Label: Mercury Records


Female Vocalist of the Year

” Kelsea Ballerini
” Jana Kramer
” Miranda Lambert
” Kacey Musgraves
” Carrie Underwood


Male Vocalist of the Year

” Jason Aldean
” Dierks Bentley
” Eric Church
” Brett Eldredge
” Chris Stapleton


Vocal Duo of the Year

” Brothers Osborne
” Dan + Shay
” Florida Georgia Line – WINNER
” Joey + Rory
” Maddie & Tae


Vocal Group of the Year

” Eli Young Band
” Little Big Town
” Old Dominion
” Rascal Flatts
” Zac Brown Band


Single Record of the Year

” “Burning House” Cam
Producers: Jeff Bhasker, Tyler Johnson, Camaron Ochs
Record Labels: Arista Nashville, RCA Records, Kravenworks

” “Buy Me A Boat” Chris Janson
Producers: Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois, Chris Janson
Record Label: Warner Music Nashville

” “Die A Happy Man” Thomas Rhett
Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure
Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

” “Girl Crush” Little Big Town
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville

” “I’m Comin’ Over” Chris Young
Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
Record Label: RCA Nashville

” “Take Your Time” Sam Hunt
Producers: Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally
Record Label: MCA Nashville


Vocal Event of the Year

” “Hangover Tonight” Gary Allan Featuring Chris Stapleton
Producers: Gary Allan, Greg Droman
Record Label: MCA Nashville

” “Home Alone Tonight” Luke Bryan Featuring Karen Fairchild
Producers: Jeff Stevens, Jody Stevens
Record Label: Capitol Nashville

” “Raise ‘Em Up” Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church
Producers: Nathan Chapman, Keith Urban
Record Labels: Hit Red Records, Capitol Nashville

” “Smokin’ and Drinkin’” Miranda Lambert Featuring Little Big Town
Producers: Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, Glenn Worf
Record Label: RCA Nashville

” “Wild Child” Kenny Chesney With Grace Potter
Producers: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
Record Labels: Blue Chair Records, Columbia Nashville


New Male Vocalist of the Year

” Brett Eldredge
” Chris Janson
” Thomas Rhett
” Chase Rice
” Chris Stapleton Winner


New Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini Winner
” Cam
” Mickey Guyton
” RaeLynn


New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year

” A Thousand Horses
” Brothers Osborne
” Maddie & Tae
Old Dominion Winner
” Parmalee


Video of the Year

” “Biscuits” Kacey Musgraves
Director: Mark Klasfeld
Producer: Nicole Acacio

” “Burning House” Cam
Director: Trey Fanjoy
Producer: Trent Hardville

” “Girl Crush” Little Big Town
Directors: Karla Welch, Matthew Welch
Producer: Amanda Prunesti

” “Mr. Misunderstood” Eric Church – WINNER
Directors: Reid Long, John Peets
Producer: Megan Smith

” “Riser” Dierks Bentley
Director: Wes Edwards
Producer: Jennifer Rothlein

Song of the Year

” Burning House Cam
Songwriters: Jeffrey Bhasker, Tyler Johnson, Cam
Publishers: Marvelous Oaks Records (ASCAP), Creative Pulse Music (BMI), One Year Yesterday Publishing (BMI), Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI), These Are Pulse Songs (BMI), Way Above Music (BMI)

” Girl Crush Little Big Town
Songwriters: Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose
Publishers: HillarodyRathbone Music (ASCAP), Hoodie Songs (BMI), Songs of Crazy Girl Music (BMI), Songs of Universal Inc (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)

” Nobody To Blame Chris Stapleton
Songwriters: Chris Stapleton, Barry Bales, Ronnie Bowman
Publishers: House of Sea Gayle Music (ASCAP), WB Music Corp (ASCAP), Quackhead Music (BMI), RayLynn Publishing (BMI)

” Raise ‘Em Up Keith Urban Featuring Eric Church
Songwriters: Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston, Jeffrey Steele
Publishers: Jeffrey Steele Music (BMI), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), TomDouglasMusic (BMI), Sony/ATV Harmony (ASCAP), Texa Rae Music (ASCAP)

” She Don’t Love You Eric Paslay
Songwriters: Eric Paslay, Jennifer Wayne
Publishers: Five Stone Publishing (ASCAP), Spirit Two Nashville (ASCAP), Songwriters of Platinum Pen Publishing (BMI)

Songwriter of the Year

Rodney Clawson
” Ross Copperman WINNER
Ashley Gorley
Shane McAnally
Josh Osborne

Studio Awards

(already handed out)

  • BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Rhodes
  • DRUMMER OF THE YEAR: Shannon Forrest