John Legend Among Four Black Artists Nominated at the ACM Awards, Most in Show’s History

Taylor Fox | Talent Recap

For the first time in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards, four Black artists were nominated in a single year. Among them is The Voice coach John Legend, nominated for video of the year for a duet with American Idol star Carrie Underwood.

John Legend Nominated for ACM Award

Legend and Underwood released the video for their original song this past November as part of Underwood’s first Christmas album. The video features Underwood in a glamorous and angelic silver gown while Legend takes his iconic position behind the piano. The two perform the gorgeous song as snow falls all around.

The harmonies keep the video, and song, comfortingly steamy even as scenes of the winter cold cross the screen. The song’s holiday message wishing for “peace on earth” and looking toward “brighter days ahead” was everything we needed for the first socially-distanced holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was Legend’s first ACM award nomination and, although the award went to Kane Brown for “Worldwide Beautiful,” we hope this won’t be the last time Legend is honored at the show.


Four Black Artists Nominated for ACM Awards, Most in a Single Year

Accompanying Legend in this historic year are Jimmie Allen, who won New Male Artist of the Year; Kane Brown, who won Video of the Year and is nominated for Album of the Year; and Mickey Guyton, nominated for New Female Artist of the Year. Guyton will also co-host the show along with Keith Urban.

Clearly, Black artists are set to sweep at the show thanks to their powerful and empowering original work. Brown’s winning video serves as a stunning tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. The powerful lyrics call for equality and social justice:

“White churches, black churches/ Different people, same hearses/ It’s kinda hard to fight with each other/ Laying down in the ground, six under/ At every show I see my people/ They ain’t the same, but they’re all equal”

Brown, the first Black solo artist to ever win the ACM Video of the Year Award said, “I wrote this song with three of my buddies out of Nashville. We were just like, ‘You know, it would be a great day when everybody could just see the beautiful in the world… we’re all a little different, but we’re all just different types of beautiful.”

Guyton also made history just last year when she became the first Black female artist to ever perform an original song at the ACM Awards. She performed “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” with Keith Urban accompanying her on piano.

“I wrote the song about changing things so our daughters can be whomever they want to be,” Guyton said.

The 56th Academy of Country Music Awards will air Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. It will be broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, as well as Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Cafe.


Taylor Fox
Taylor Fox

Taylor Fox is a Content Writer and Acting Managing Editor at Talent Recap. When she's not covering entertainment news, she can be found baking, reading, or exploring her new home, NYC. Taylor is an avid traveler and her cultural work has been published in a variety of magazines and websites.

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