The 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards will be remembered as an unforgettable event. As with every year, the ceremony delivered its fair share of surprise victors and outstanding performances that left the audience in awe.
One of the evening’s biggest shockers unfolded during the announcement of the Male Artist of the Year recipient. This prestigious award, which traces its roots back to 1966 as the Top Male Vocalist, has been previously bestowed upon legends such as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty, George Jones, George Strait, and Garth Brooks.
This year’s nominees, including Chris Stapleton, Jordan Davis, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, and Morgan Wallen, had the opportunity to etch their names in the annals of country music history alongside these esteemed predecessors.
To reveal the winner, co-host Garth Brooks took the stage at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas. The highly coveted Male Artist of the Year honor was bestowed upon Morgan Wallen, marking his first triumph in this category.
The victory served as a bright spot amidst a challenging week. Just days prior, Wallen had shared the unfortunate news that he was placed on doctor-ordered vocal rest for six weeks, leading to his inability to perform at the ACM Awards and other ACM events as initially scheduled. He was also forced to reschedule six weeks worth of tour dates in order to facilitate his recovery.
See his emotional announcement about his vocal rest below.