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ACM Awards: Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett win Best New Artist

April 8 (UPI) -- The Academy of Country Music announced on Thursday that Jimmie Allen has won New Male Artist of the Year and Gabby Barrett has won New Female Artist of the Year.

The announcement comes before the 2021 ACM Awards, which are set to air April 18 on CBS at 8 p.m. EST. Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton are serving as the hosts.

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Urban surprised both Allen and Barrett with the news by sending them a card containing a video of himself announcing them as the winners.

Allen was in shock and watched the video a second time. Barrett was also surprised and gave a short acceptance speech.

"This is such an honor. Ever since I came into the country music community everybody's been absolutely wonderful to me. So thank you so much, it's more than I deserve," Barrett said.

Allen and Barrett will also be performing at the awards show along with Urban, Guyton, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton and more.

Morris and Stapleton lead all nominees with six nominations each.

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