The Academy of Country Music brought surprise and excitement to awards season, honoring Riley Green and Tenille Townes as this year's New Female and New Male Artists of the Year.
Green and Townes were on separate ZOOM calls when celebrities and ACM officials surprised the rising stars with New Artists honors. "Are you serious? For real? ... This is crazy,” Tenille exclaimed, after Keith Urban appeared and virtually bestow the award.
Townes released her debut album “The Lemonade Stand” this summer. Before too long, singles like Jersey on the Wall (I’m Just Asking) and Somebody’s Daughter, became chart-topping hits in the artists home country, Canada.
Green thought his afternoon would be spent video chatting with record executives, before Keith Urban crashed the meeting. He asked Riley when he planned to play to an audience again, and added a suggestion. “How about playing the ACMs? Would you like to play the ACMs?” With the cat out of the bag, Urban honored Green with the award. “Now I wish I would have got a glass of wine,” the New Male Artist winner joked.
Riley rode a wave of success in 2019, releasing his debut album "Different ‘Round Here." Singles like There Was This Girl and I Wish Grandpas Never Died have been blazing the charts this summer.
Due to safety precautions regarding the coronavirus, the ACM Awards were forced to postpone their April show in Las Vegas. Organizers have instead planned a trio of Nashville venues for artists to perform. The show airs September 16, 7 p.m. CST on CBS.