The Academy of Country Music® announced the winner of the ACM New Male and Female artists of the year Thursday morning (August 20).
Singing show alums Gabby Barrett and Morgan Wallen lost their bids
The New Male Artist of the Year award went to Riley Green, while Tenille Townes nabbed New Female Artist of the Year. This is notable because American Idol season 16 alum Gabby Barrett was up for new female artist. Season 10 runner-up and Dancing with the Stars alum Lauren Alaina won the coveted award in 2018. Additionally, The Voice season 5 alum, Morgan Wallen was nominated for new male artist.
Former American Idol judge and reigning Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban surprised both country artists with the news via taped message. The veteran singer surprised Tenille HERE, and Riley HERE. Both singers will perform on the telecast.
“This year’s New Artists have experienced astounding success already, and the Academy feels honored to be able to present them with their first ACM Award win,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “We hope this is a memory that they will carry with them as their careers continue to thrive. A huge congratulations to all of this year’s well-deserving nominees and a special thank you to the artists’ teams who helped the Academy pull off the surprise, especially our host Keith Urban for making this moment monumental. We can’t wait to see Riley and Tenille on the 55th ACM Awards stage on September 16!”
2020 ACM Awards will broadcast from Nashville for the first time in September
For the first time in the show’s history, the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will take place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic Country Music venues including the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe.
CBS and the Academy of Country Music originally scheduled the 2020 ACM Awards live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 5. But due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the network moved the event to September. The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will now broadcast live from Nashville on Wednesday September 16 at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS.