Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett tie for top prize at ACMs

Mark Humphrey / AP

Carrie Underwood accepts the entertainer of the 12 months award in a tie with Thomas Rhett through the 55th once-a-year Academy of Region New music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House on Wednesday, Sept. sixteen, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In surprise twist that suit an unforeseen 12 months of firsts, Carrie Underwood and Thomas Rhett tied for entertainer of the 12 months at the Academy of Region New music Awards, the initially time the top prize has been break up in between two artists.

Underwood and Rhett appeared similarly taken aback immediately after host Keith Urban introduced the tie at the awards present held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday.

“Keith, what is happening appropriate now?” Rhett requested, astounded, ahead of thanking his loved ones. Underwood appeared appropriate immediately after him remarking, “2020, person?” ahead of adding, “I am more than pleased to share this with Thomas Rhett.”

The present on CBS had been delayed for months simply because of the pandemic, moved from Las Vegas to Nashville for the initially time and held with out audiences in vacant venues. There was a large amount of anticipation for the present, which highlighted Taylor Swift generating her initially visual appeal at the ACMs in seven decades.

Underwood’s gain is her third complete in that classification and Rhett’s initially gain. They defeat out other nominees Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Luke Combs. Coincidentally, a lady has not won that award given that 2011 when Swift past won it. Swift sent a easy acoustic performance of “betty” from her new album “Folklore,” on a darkened Opry House phase.

Combs still went household a winner by finding up album of the 12 months and male artist of the 12 months. Soon after amassing tremendous streaming quantities and 9 consecutive No. one nation radio hits, Combs thanked lovers for their support from the Bluebird Cafe.

“This is a large amount to method appropriate now, I just simply cannot believe that this,” Combs explained. “I just want to thank everybody in my existence, my staff, my beautiful spouse and the lovers. You men have completed everything for me. ”

Region team Old Dominion won song of the 12 months and team of the 12 months, and band members Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi earned extra specific awards as songwriters for “One Guy Band.”

The awards present aired from vacant venues in Nashville with no lovers and no applause, even when winners acquired up are living to settle for their awards. Ramsey, the lead singer of Old Dominion, explained the vacant location and peaceful manufactured him imagine of buddies and loved ones they had shed.

“I can experience them all,” Ramsey explained. “They are so very pleased, and it’s this kind of an honor to get this in their presence.”

Urban pointed out all the variations this 12 months for the present and for the nation in common, declaring 2020 has been an “unpredictable and unsettling 12 months.” Soon after noting wildfires on the West Coastline, hurricanes in the South, Urban explained the nation is battling two pandemics: COVID-19 and social injustice.

“Far far too quite a few life have been shed to both equally,” he explained. “But the illustrations set by essential personnel, our initially responders, along with the voices crying out for equality in all walks of existence, have echoed around the earth and appropriate right here in our nation local community.”

Maren Morris, who was a primary nominee, won two awards, such as woman artist of the 12 months and tunes event of the 12 months, for a collaboration with Miranda Lambert, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, Elle King and Ashley McBryde.

“This is so bizarre chatting to no one, but I have so quite a few individuals to thank. This is an award that I by no means anticipated to gain,” explained Morris, who thanked her spouse and toddler boy, Hayes, ahead of blurting out “Oh my God, I have to pee!”

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, were not in Nashville, but turned a eco-friendly screen place into a digital duplicate of the Bluebird Cafe for their duet “Happy Anyplace.” Shelton won one of the 12 months for his song, “God’s Region.”

Lambert executed a stripped-down variation of her No. one song “Bluebird,” at the Bluebird Cafe in a blue fringed shirt and a sparkly belt. Lambert’s vocals appeared to fill up the place in the small songwriters’ club surrounded by tables and chairs, but no lovers.

In awards introduced ahead of the present aired, Rhett also won tunes online video of the 12 months, while Townes won new woman artist of the 12 months. Riley Inexperienced won new male artist. Duo Dan + Shay won vocal duo of the 12 months, their next gain in that classification in a row.

Underwood sang a tribute to iconic woman Opry members, such as Patsy Cline, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Barbara Mandrell, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. She easily breezed through snippets of classics like “Crazy,” “You Ain’t Girl More than enough,” “Why’d You Appear in Below Lookin’ Like That,” and “Fancy.”

“They are some of my heroes and I am so honored to stand along with them as a fellow member of the Opry,” explained Underwood, who sang her coronary heart out to a location that flickered with lights in which individuals should have been.