Chris Stapleton’s ‘Starting Over’ Honored As Album of the Year At 2021 ACM Awards

The votes are in and Chris Stapleton’s latest album, Starting Over, has been named Album of the Year at the 2021…


Lauren Jo Black

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April 18, 2021


11:15 pm

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Chris Stapleton; Photo Courtesy CBS, ACM Awards

The votes are in and Chris Stapleton’s latest album, Starting Over, has been named Album of the Year at the 2021 ACM Awards.

The superstar accepted the incredible honor live from Nashville’s The Bluebird Cafe.

“Thank you for giving us this award tonight,” Stapleton shared. “We work really hard to make music, and we think a lot about it.”

The soft-spoken Kentucky native went on to thank his wife, Morgane, longtime producer, Dave Cobb, and the musicians who played on the record. 

“It means a lot to us,” he said. “It really does. Thank you, thank you very much.” 

Album Of The Year is awarded to the artist(s), producer(s) and record label(s). 

Other projects up for the title of the Album of the Year were Luke Bryan’s Born Here Live Here Die Here, Kane Brown’s Mixtape Vol. 1, Ashley McBryde’s Never Will and Brothers Osborne’s Skeletons.

The 56th ACM Awards also featured performances from Brothers Osborne, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Ashley McBryde, Keith Urban, Gabby Barrett, Jimmie Allen, Little Big Town and more.

Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations by Dierks Bentley feat. The War And Treaty, Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd, Chris Young feat. Kane Brown, Carly Pearce and Lee Brice, as well as Carrie Underwood & CeCe Winans. The show opener featured the live debut of Elle King and Miranda Lambert’s duet, “Drunk (And I Don’t Want To Go Home).”

Co-hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton, the 2021 ACM Awards took place in Music City for the second consecutive year. The three-hour awards show took place at three iconic Nashville venues, including Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. The awards show aired on Sunday, April 18 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET) on CBS Television Network and were also streamed live on CBS All Access.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.