Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Maren Morris nab top ACM noms

Entertainment
Reba McEntire

FILE – This April 7, 2019 file photo shows host Reba McEntire on stage at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. The 55th annual ACM Awards will be held on Sunday, April 5. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay lead the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations for Dan Smyers and five for Shay Mooney and helped pop star Justin Bieber earn his first-ever ACM noms.

In the nominations announced Thursday, the powerhouse duo share four bids with Bieber for song of the year as both writers and artists, music event of the year and video of the year for their chart-topping crossover duet “10,000 Hours.” Dan + Shay are also nominated for duo of the year and Smyers is nominated individually as the producer in the music event category.

“10,000 Hours,” released in October, is spending its 20th week on top of Billboard’s Hot country songs chart. So far, it has peaked at No. 4 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart.

Three out of the five members of Old Dominion — Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi — matched Smyers with six nominations since they co-wrote their hit song, “One Man Band.” The band, as a whole, earned five nominations including song of the year, group of the year and video of the year. Each member is nominated twice for single of the year as artists and producers of “One Man Band.”

Others earning five nominations include Thomas Rhett, producer Dan Huff and Grammy winner Maren Morris.

Morris picked up two nominations for album of the year as artist and co-producer for “GIRL,” female artist of the year, music event of the year and group of the year for performing in The Highwomen, the supergroup also featuring Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby. Busbee, Morris’ producer who died suddenly last year, is posthumously nominated for album of the year and producer of the year.

Rhett, who won male artist of the year at last year’s show, earned his first nomination for entertainer of the year — the show’s top prize. Carrie Underwood is the sole female contender in entertainer of the year, alongside Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Luke Combs.

Noticeably absent from the nominations was country legend Tanya Tucker, who earned her first two Grammy Awards last month for best country album and best country song after a remarkable comeback year.

Songs and albums released in 2019 or found success last year qualify for nominations at the 2020 ACM Awards. That would have made Billboard’s No. 1 country song of 2019, Morgan Wallen’s “Whiskey Glasses,” eligible. It was released in 2018, but didn’t find major success on the country and pop charts until last year. Wallen did earn a nomination for new male artist, but his hit song isn’t competing for any prizes.

Also missing from the nominations is Blanco Brown, whose country-trap viral hit “The Git Up” spent 12 weeks atop Billboard’s country chart. Lil Nas X’s chart-busting “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus, which won two Grammys last month, earned a nomination for music event of the year but was shut out of major categories like song and single of the year.

The ACM Awards, hosted by reigning ACM entertainer of the year Keith Urban, will air live on CBS on April 5 from Las Vegas.

If Bieber wins an award, he would earn his second country music prize: He won the CMT Award for collaborative video of the year in 2011 for “That Should Be Me” with Rascal Flatts. Throughout his career Bieber has worked with stars outside of the pop world, collaborating on songs with rap, R&B and dance acts like Lil Wayne, Summer Walker and Skrillex. His remix version of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s ubiquitous hit, “Despacito,” even earned him a Latin Grammy.

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A previous version of this story had the incorrect number of nominations for the group Old Dominion and its individual band members.

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