30 Big Moments in ACM Awards History [PICTURES]
For more than five decades, the ACM Awards have featured country legends, the hottest new artists, stirring performances and, of course, plenty of well-deserved awards. With artists such as Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood and Florida Georgia Line, the ACM Awards have celebrated hundreds of country stars in several locations, including Los Angeles, Calif.; Buena Park, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Arlington, Texas. Wherever the ACMs are, superstars and fans are sure to follow.
The Academy of Country Music was founded in 1964 as the Country and Western Music Academy; it was an effort to promote country music in the 13 western states and focus on artists such as Glen Campbell, Roger Miller, Billy Mize and more. In 1966, the Academy hosted its first country music awards show; though there had been three informal awards banquets previously, it was the first official country music awards program held by a major organization. So, who was in the spotlight that year? Kay Adams, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens and Buck Owens.
In the early '70s, the Academy was renamed the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and expanded its efforts to include country music as a whole. In 1972, the awards show was broadcast for the first time -- and since then, country fans have been glued to their televisions to catch a glimpse of their favorite country stars nabbing trophies left and right.
One of the biggest awards at the ACMs is Artist of the Decade; recipients over the years have included Marty Robbins, Lynn, Alabama, Brooks, George Strait and, in 2019, Jason Aldean. The Triple Crown Award is another highly prestigious award, as is Entertainer of the Year, which has been given to the likes of Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and Underwood.
Click through the gallery below to see the biggest moments in ACM Awards history:
After relocating from Las Vegas, Nev., to Nashville in 2020 out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACM Awards are back in Nashville in 2021. As showrunners did last year, they're spreading this year's event out across three iconic Music City venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe. They'll be following national, state and local guidelines related to the pandemic, as well as additional, self-imposed safety measures.
The 2021 ACM Awards are set for April 18. They'll begin at 8PM ET and will air live on CBS and be available to stream on Paramount+; sign up for the streaming service here.
WATCH: How Well Do You Know the ACM Awards?