Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett have new titles to their names as they’ve been named the 2021 ACM Awards New Male and New Female Artists of the Year, respectively. The exciting news was revealed by the Academy of Country Music early Thursday morning (4/8).
The categories each had stiff competition this year as Barrett was up against Ingrid Andress, Tenille Arts, Mickey Guyton and Caylee Hammack. The New Male category was also a tough race with winning out against Jimmie Allen, Travis Denning, HARDY, Cody Johnson and Parker McCollum.
Both winners were surprised with special video messages. Barrett earned a call out from Keith Urban, who is hosting the show for the second year. Instructed to open a card and watch the video inside, new mom Barrett learned that she’d been named New Female Artist of the Year. The “I Hope” singer squealed with excitement over the news and cheered from her chair. She also earned a performance slot during the broadcast.
Like Barrett, Allen earned a video message from Urban while in the studio. “Stop playin’, bro,” shouted the shocked singer as he jumped out of his chair. He excitedly played the video again for the cameras, reveling in his career-changing news. Allen is also expected to perform during the awards ceremony.
The ACM Awards return to Nashville, TN this year and will take place across three iconic venues: The Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe. This is the second time the ACMs have been in Nashville, as they typically take place in Las Vegas. However, due to COVID-19, the show decided to stick close to home and will maintain strict social distancing guidelines.
The 2021 ACM Awards, hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, broadcast live on Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
See all of our ACM coverage right here.