AceShowbiz - The Academy of Country Music announced on Tuesday morning, March 14, early winners of the best new artist categories for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards. Following her success at the Grammys last month, Maren Morris took home New Female Vocalist of the Year, beating out Cam, Brandy Clark and Lauren Alaina.
Shortly after the announcement, Morris took to Twitter to share the exciting news. "In Amsterdam playing a gig tonight & caught news that I won my first ever ACM for New Female Vocalist! Thank you so much @acmawards!" so she tweeted. Additionally, the 26-year-old singer still has five nominations at the main ACM Awards ceremony including Album of the Year for "Hero" and Female Vocalist of the Year.
Besides Morris, Brothers Osborne was named New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year. "The amount of love we're feeling from our dear friends in the country music community is indescribable," said Osborne in a statement. "Thanks to each and every one of you for this, and for always encouraging us to stay the course. We will never, for the rest of our lives, take these moments for granted. God bless y'all and God bless country music!"
The Maryland duo defeated their rivals Maddie & Tae, A Thousand Horses, Dan + Shay and LoCash. The award marked the group's second win in the last six months, following their surprise win at the 50th CMA Awards in November. In addition to the New Vocal Duo, the group would be pitted against Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, Tae and Shay for Vocal Duo of the Year.
Breakthrough artist Jon Pardi, meanwhile, walked away with New Male Vocalist of the Year, beating out the likes of Kane Brown, Chris Janson, Chris Lane and Brett Young. The "Dirt on My Boots" singer, who released his second album "California Sunrise" last year, called the win "freaking awesome." Unlike Morris and Osborne, this was his only nomination this year.
All winners are scheduled to perform at the award-giving ceremony, which will air live from Las Vegas on Sunday, April 2. They will join previously-announced performers including Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Backstreet Boys among others. Luke Bryan and Bentley will return as co-hosts.