Carrie Underwood After ACM Awards Tie: ‘Are You Sure? Are You Sure?’
ACM Awards voting wrapped in time for the original April date for the 2020 broadcast, which means there were six months to recount votes in the Entertainer of the Year category. So, yes, Carrie Underwood, they were sure.
Talking to Today on Thursday (Sept. 24), Underwood shared her team's disbelief upon learning that she and Thomas Rhett had tied in the category. Fans waited to the end of the show to hear Keith Urban laugh, then reveal to the camera that there had been a tie. Rhett was announced first, and after his acceptance speech, Underwood was awarded her third prize in the category.
“All the people around us afterwards were like, 'We kept asking the accounting firm [Deloitte], are you sure? Are you sure?'" Underwood tells the NBC News television show. "It's also the year of strange things happening, right?"
Typically, nobody involved with the ACMs knows the winners ahead of time, but that was different in 2020. After the show, CEO Damon Whiteside told Billboard they wanted to guarantee as many winners as possible would be there, but not ask all of the nominees to show up due to the coronavirus pandemic. So he strongly encouraged some, but not all, artists to be there in person. Underwood and Rhett were both already signed up for two performances apiece.
The "Cry Pretty" singer says that she's happy to share the award with Rhett. Her win makes history, as it makes her the first female country artist to win three ACM Entertainer of the Year trophies. She's never won the same prize at the CMA Awards, but is nominated for EOTY ahead of November's show in Nashville.
On Friday (Sept. 25), Underwood released her first Christmas album, My Gift. The 11-song project features a handful of originals, plus collaborations with John Legend and her 5-year-old son Isaiah.