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Dan + Shay, Justin Bieber, Maren Morris nab top ACM noms


NASHVILLE — 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.

Maren Morris scored five nominations including two 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.

Thomas Rhett earned his first nomination for entertainer of the year — the show’s top prize — as well as nominations for album of the year as artist and co-producer, male artist of the year and video of the year.

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.

The ACM Awards, hosted by reigning ACM entertainer of the year Keith Urban, will air 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.

Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press