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Maren Morris takes home Song of the Year for The Bones at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards


The biggest stars in country music assembled on Sunday night to mark the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.

The long-running country music awards is being hosted by musicians from different generations, including rising star Mickey Guyton, who’s nominated for New Female Artist of the Year, and Keith Urban, who has two separate nominations for Music Event of the Year. 

Maren Morris was one of the early winners at the ceremony for Song of the Year for her track The Bones.

Honored: Maren Morris was one of the early winners at the ceremony for Song of the Year for her track The Bones at the 56 Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday in Nashville

Honored: Maren Morris was one of the early winners at the ceremony for Song of the Year for her track The Bones at the 56 Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday in Nashville

She was competing against a stacked category with Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Old Dominion and Chris Stapleton.

Morris was clearly emotional as she accept her award while bemoaning the fact that her cowriters Jimmy Robinson and Laura Veltz couldn’t join her to accept it.

She said she wrote the song while she was dating her ‘now-husband’ Ryan Hurd, who performed a duet with her earlier in the broadcast.

‘I feel sometimes like songs know you better than you know them at the time. And I feel like this song has revealed so many new things to me that I didn’t know were possible the day I wrote it,’ she said from the stage.

Setting the stage: Darius Rucker announced Song of the Year before calling out Morris' name

Setting the stage: Darius Rucker announced Song of the Year before calling out Morris’ name

Memories: Morris said she co-wrote the song while she was dating her future husband Ryan Hurd. She bemoaned the fact that her cowriters couldn't accept the award

Memories: Morris said she co-wrote the song while she was dating her future husband Ryan Hurd. She bemoaned the fact that her cowriters couldn’t accept the award

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Emotional: Morris wiped her tears as she accepted her award

Emotional: Morris wiped her tears as she accepted her award

She concluded by hoping that country music, and possibly her song, had brought listeners some peace in a tumultuous 2020. 

Guyton is among four other Black artists to be nominated this, the most of any ACM ceremony to date.

Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton lead the field with six nominations each, while superstar Miranda Lambert is close behind with five nominations.

Ashley McBryde and Thomas Rhett round out the most-nominated artists with four nods each. 

Star power: The long-running country music awards is being hosted by musicians from different generations, including rising star Mickey Guyton, who's nominated for New Female Artist of the Year, and Keith Urban

Star power: The long-running country music awards is being hosted by musicians from different generations, including rising star Mickey Guyton, who’s nominated for New Female Artist of the Year, and Keith Urban

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the event was split up among three venues throughout Nashville, Tennessee, including the iconic Grand Ole Opry House, the Bluebird Cafe and the Station Inn.

The show kicked off with a high-energy performance by Miranda Lambert and Elle King.

The two singers rocked edgy black leather biker jackets, though they added some sparkle and color with studs and pink and blue fringed sleeves.

Divas: The show kicked off with a high-energy performance by Miranda Lambert and Elle King

Divas: The show kicked off with a high-energy performance by Miranda Lambert and Elle King

Splash of color: The singers rocked edgy studded leather biker jackets enlivened with pink and blue fringe on the sleeves

Splash of color: The singers rocked edgy studded leather biker jackets enlivened with pink and blue fringe on the sleeves

Baby on board: King announced she was pregnant in March, but she debuted her baby bump on the red carpet and even gave her tummy a pat while on stage

Baby on board: King announced she was pregnant in March, but she debuted her baby bump on the red carpet and even gave her tummy a pat while on stage

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King announced she was pregnant in March, but she debuted her baby bump on the red carpet and even gave her tummy a pat while on stage. 

Urban and Guyton were hosting from the Grand Ole Opry stage, where he looked casual–cool with a navy blazer and black jeans, while she looked angelic in a white feathered dress. 

‘We’ve been through so much,’ Urban said of Nashville and the country music industry, before Guyton revealed that the socially distanced and vaccinated audience was made up of masked healthcare workers from Vanderbilt health.

‘This would not be possible without you,’ she said, after mentioning that her sister was a nurse. 

The hosts quickly got into a second performance of Famous Friends from Chris Young with Kane Brown joining on vocals from the Ryman Auditorium.

Next up, Urban introduced Blanco Brown, who had recovered from a devastating motorcycle accident the year before.

He presented the award for Group of the Year, which went to Old Dominion. 

Thomas Rhett, who tied for Entertainer of the Year with Carrie Underwood at the 2020 ceremony, returned for an acoustic performance of Country Again, before the full band joined in later.

Triumphant return: Next up, Urban introduced Blanco Brown, who had recovered from a devastating motorcycle accident the year before

Triumphant return: Next up, Urban introduced Blanco Brown, who had recovered from a devastating motorcycle accident the year before

First winner: He presented the award for Group of the Year, which went to Old Dominion

First winner: He presented the award for Group of the Year, which went to Old Dominion

Back at it: Thomas Rhett returned for an acoustic performance of Country Again, before the full band joined in later

Back at it: Thomas Rhett returned for an acoustic performance of Country Again, before the full band joined in later

Returning champ: He tied for Entertainer of the Year with Carrie Underwood at the 2020 ceremony

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Returning champ: He tied for Entertainer of the Year with Carrie Underwood at the 2020 ceremony

The top nominees Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton collaborated for an intimate duet in a bar setting at the Bluebird Cafe.

She was exclusively on vocals, while Stapleton also played guitar.

Miranda was taking over for Stapleton’s wife Morgane, who was originally going to duet on Maggie’s Song, a tribute to their late dog, but she couldn’t attend due to a ‘prior doula commitment.’ 

Superstars: The top nominees Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton collaborated for an intimate duet in a bar setting at the Bluebird Cafe.

Superstars: The top nominees Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton collaborated for an intimate duet in a bar setting at the Bluebird Cafe.

Filling in: Miranda was taking over for Stapleton's wife Morgane, who was originally going to duet on Maggie's Song, a tribute to their late dog, but she couldn't attend due to a 'prior doula commitment'

Filling in: Miranda was taking over for Stapleton’s wife Morgane, who was originally going to duet on Maggie’s Song, a tribute to their late dog, but she couldn’t attend due to a ‘prior doula commitment’

Maren Morris and her husband Ryan Hurd kept up the duets with their performance of Chasing After You, their first-ever duet.

They were on a set designed like a church set with tall arched windows. 

The renamed Lady A followed them up with their song Like A Lady.

Sweet: Maren Morris and her husband Ryan Hurd kept up the duets with their performance of Chasing After You, their first-ever duet

Sweet: Maren Morris and her husband Ryan Hurd kept up the duets with their performance of Chasing After You, their first-ever duet

Take it to church: They were on a set designed like a church set with tall arched windows

Take it to church: They were on a set designed like a church set with tall arched windows



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