Parker McCollum, Lainey Wilson Win ACM New Male and Female Artist

Watch Miranda Lambert surprise them with the news!

Written by Chris Parton
Parker McCollum, Lainey Wilson Win ACM New Male and Female Artist
Parker McCollum; Photo credit: Tyler Conrad Lainey Wilson; Photo Credit: CeCe Dawson

Days before the 57th annual ACM Awards go live from Las Vegas, the groundbreaking show has already crowned its first two winners. Today (March 4), Parker McCollum and Lainey Wilson were named the New Male and New Female Artist of the Year.

Surprised with the news by country superstar Miranda Lambert, both rising stars were tricked into accepting the awards over Zoom. Each had been told they were logging on for an interview, but then Lambert showed up on screen to deliver the surprise of a lifetime.

“Are you serious?” McCollum asked, staring at the screen in obvious shock. “I’m getting blurry vision right now. … This one’s for Texas, no doubt.”

Likewise, Wilson was overcome with emotion at the achievement — and with Lambert being the one to tell her. Lambert is the most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history.

“Holy s***,” Wilson said, wiping tears from her eyes as the realization sunk in. “If there’s anybody that understands the blood sweat and tears that go into this it’s you … I just want to say thank you for paving the damn way for me to have an opportunity like this … This is the best news I think I’ve ever got.”

Both artists are riding high after a strong start to their career, with McCollum scoring a Number One with “Pretty Heart” and following up with his debut album, Gold Chain Cowboy. Wilson also scored an out-the-gate Number One with “Things a Man Oughta Know,” and the song is nominated this year for ACM Song of the Year.

Check out the rest of the nominees here, and be sure to tune in to Amazon Prime Video on Monday (March 7) to see who wins. The 57th annual ACM Awards will be co-hosted by Dolly Parton with last year’s ACM New Male and Female Artist of the Year winners, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett. Featuring more than 20 performances, the party kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and marks the first major country awards show to be exclusively live streamed.