Keith Urban Surprises ACM Awards 2020 New Artists Winners in Video Calls [Watch]
The ACM has revealed Tenille Townes and Riley Green as the New Female Artist and New Male Artist of the Year in the 2020 ACM Awards. The country newcomers learned of their career-altering wins via surprise video calls with ACM Awards host Keith Urban, which have been released online.
Urban, who is the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year and a 15-time ACM Award winner himself, crashed video meetings with the two artists to deliver the news. Take a look at those clips below:
Green was a Taste of Country RISER in 2019. He released his debut album, Different 'Round Here, in 2019, and he's scored two hits from it with "There Was This Girl" and "I Wish Grandpas Never Died." He was nominated alongside Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Cody Johnson and Morgan Wallen.
"When we had to come off the road back in March, I wasn’t sure what the rest of 2020 would look like,” he says in a press release. “So much has happened in the world since then and I’m really excited to have a moment to play music again. My grandfathers’ love for country music is what led me to this moment and I have to dedicate this award to them. Thank you to everyone who believes in my music enough to let this boy from Alabama get to share his songs like this.”
Townes is best known for her songs "Somebody's Daughter" and "Jersey on the Wall," both from her major-label U.S. debut, The Lemonade Stand. She was up against Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Lindsay Ell and Caylee Hammack
“I’ll always remember this feeling, standing here as a new artist,” she states. “I feel so honored and incredibly grateful just to be a part of this country music community that inspires me. Receiving this ACM Award feels like belief from that community, and that means so much to me.”
This year's ACM Awards were postponed due to the pandemic. They are now set for Sept. 16, 2020. The ACM Awards will take place in Nashville for the first time in the history of the ceremony in 2020, broadcasting from the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe live on CBS.
“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,” notes 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 Sept. 16!”
WATCH: 5 Burning Questions About the 2020 ACM Awards
5 Snubs and 3 Surprises Among the 2020 ACM Nominees: