Megan Moroney, Nate Smith, Tigirlily Gold Revealed Among Early ACM Winners

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Megan Moroney, Nate Smith and Tigirlily Gold were revealed as early 59th ACM Award winners, the Academy of Country Music confirmed on Tuesday night (May 14).

The artists earned the New Female Artist of the Year, New Male Artist of the Year and New Duo or Group of the Year awards, respectively. Those categories were revealed during the Live from the ACM Awards: ACM New Artist Winners Celebration, which is part of the two-night ACM Country Kickoff event at The Star in Frisco, Texas, continuing on Wednesday (May 15). Each artist took the stage immediately following their victories on Tuesday night. Each artist will also take the stage on the day of the 59th ACM Awards on Thursday (May 16). Moroney will perform during the ACM Awards Red Carpet Show, while Smith will team up with pop-punk megastar Avril Lavigne for a collaborative debut performance on the ACM Awards stage, and sister duo Tigirlily Gold will make their ACM Awards stage debut.

“We just won our first ACM AWARD!!! This is 11 years of long days, short nights, ups and downs, and never giving up. Thank you to the [ACM Awards] for this incredible honor. We are absolutely beside ourselves. More to come later… 😭🤯💕,” Tigirlily Gold wrote in a caption on Instagram as they celebrated their victory on Tuesday night. The ACM Award win arrives shortly after the duo announced their debut album, Blonde, will arrive on July 26. On the same day they made their album announcement, the North Dakota-born sisters, Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh, announced their next song, “Leroy.” The song made its debut on Friday (May 10).

Moroney, who marked a meteoric rise in her career after releasing her debut album Lucky last year, also celebrated her award win on social media, posting a photo of the card on X, formerly Twitter, reading “New Female Artist of the Year Megan Moroney.” Smith took the stage with a heartfelt acceptance speech on Tuesday night, including a reflection on his journey to becoming an award-winning artist, expressing gratitude for his family and nods to the other nominees in his category. Respectively, each artist took the ACM Country Kickoff stage on Tuesday — and Smith performed while moving through the crowd — with some of the biggest hits of their careers so far, including “I’m Not Pretty,” “Indifferent,” “Tennessee Orange,” “Whiskey On You,” “Bulletproof” and “World On Fire.”

Other artists taking the stage on Thursday evening include Jason Aldean (who will deliver a tribute to late country star Toby Keith), Post MaloneParker McCollumKelsea Ballerini and Noah Kahan; husband-and-wife duo Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani; Kane BrownJelly RollCody JohnsonMiranda LambertThomas RhettChris Stapleton, and Lainey WilsonReba McEntire, who will return to host the show for the 17th time, will also perform “brand new music,” she previously confirmed. The Academy of Country Music announced on Monday (May 13) that the star-studded list of presenters includes AlabamaBRELAND, Tyler Cameron, Jordan DavisSara EvansCarin LeónLittle Big TownAshley McBryde, Dion and Rozene Pride, Noah Reid, Richard Sherman, Charissa Thompson, Randy Travisand Clay Walker.

iHeartRadio’s Bobby Bones will host intimate artist interviews featured in his “Backstage with Bobby Bones” segment throughout the night of the show. He also kicked off nominations on The Bobby Bones Show last month. See the full list of 59th ACM Award nominees here.

The show is set to return to Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, the world headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, leading up to the milestone 60th year in 2025. This year’s ACM Red Carpet will kick off at 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT/4 p.m. PDT. The show is set for Thursday, May 16 at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT.

59th Academy of Country Music Awards - ACM Country Kickoff

Photo: Penske Media

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