Keith Urban Surprises Riley Green And Tenille Townes With Their ACM New Artist Wins

Congrats to both artists, who also received their invitations to perform at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards.
Posted on Aug 20, 2020 | 05:00am

With the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards™ just a few weeks away, the first two winners of the ceremony have been announced!

Riley Green has been crowned New Male Artist of the Year, with Tenille Townes bringing home the "hat" trophy as New Female Artist of the Year. Green and Townes will also perform at the ACM Awards, which takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8/7c.

READ: How And When To Watch The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards

Each was surprised with the news of their wins during a video meeting that was crashed by 55th ACM Awards® host, reigning ACM® Entertainer of the Year, and 15-time ACM Award® winner Keith Urban. Watch the winners receive the big news, Townes with a priceless reaction and Green with his megawatt smile:

For the first time in the show’s history, the ACM Awards will be broadcast live from Nashville at three iconic country music venues including the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, and the Bluebird Cafe.

"When we had to come off the road back in March, I wasn't sure what the rest of 2020 would look like," said Green. "So much has happened in the world since then, and I'm really excited to have a moment to play music again. My grandfathers' love for country music is what led me to this moment, and I have to dedicate this award to them. Thank you to everyone who believes in my music enough to let this boy from Alabama get to share his songs like this."

READ: The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards: The Complete List Of Nominees

"I'll always remember this feeling, standing here as a new artist," said Townes. "I feel so honored and incredibly grateful just to be a part of this country music community that inspires me. Receiving this ACM Award feels like belief from that community, and that means so much to me."

Townes is also nominated for Music Event of the Year, alongside Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack, and Elle King for their collaborative recording of "Fooled Around and Fell in Love."

This year's special will be loaded with exciting performances—stay tuned for upcoming announcements about the participating top country artists and their unique collaborations.

Watch the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards™, hosted by Keith Urban, live on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8/7c on CBS and CBS All Access.