ACM Awards 1981: George Jones Thanks His “Ex-Wife & New Husband-In-Law” After Winning Top Male Vocalist

George Jones country music ACM

With the ACM Awards less than weeks away, we’re going to take the opportunity took back at some great ACM moments from years past.

And to kick it off, we’re taking it back even farther… back to 1981.

George Jones’ career-defining hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today” took home the ACM Award for Song of the Year and he also won Top Male Vocalist at the 16th Annual ACM Awards.

For the latter, Jim Stafford and Susan Anton presented him with the award, but during his acceptance speech, he hilariously took the opportunity to thank his ex-wife Tammy Wynette and her new husband.

“This is the greatest thrill of my life… you know, everybody says that but the things that have happened so good for me in the past few months, all you people made it happen for me.

And we love you and we appreciate it, we thank Columbia Records and Epic, and we thank all our fans, especially.

And I thank my ex-wife and new husband-in-law… Tammy Wynette… Thank you so much.”


And while that might sound like a dig, it sounds like a sincere, light-hearted, humorous thank you to his ex-wife for inspiring one of his greatest hits. The hit that turned his career around when it seemed like he was on his way to fading out of the country music spotlight for good.

Of course, George had battled alcoholism and drug abuse which ultimately led to his divorce from Tammy in 1975.

And then Tammy married songwriter George Richey (who allegedly had his own issues with abuse) in 1978.

George would go on to win the Academy of Country Music’s Pioneer Award in 1993.

He also accepted the award for Song of the Year, but that speech wasn’t nearly as eventful.

ACM Awards 2023: And The Nominees Are

The 58th Academy of  Country Music Awards nominations are officially out, and there are quite a few notable categories this year.

Firstly, Morgan Wallen received his first nomination for the coveted Entertainer of the Year award, and his friend, Hardy, leads the pack with seven nominations in total.

The great Lainey Wilson is right behind Hardy with six nominations, and they shared the nod on three categories for their song “wait in the truck.”

And lastly, Zach Bryan earned his first ACM nomination in the New Male Artist of the Year category, which is pretty cool to see.

Of course, usual ACM heavy hitters Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, and more were also nominated in multiple categories.

The dynamic duo of Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will co-host the show for the first time on May 11th at 8:00 PM EDT exclusively on Amazon Prime.

It will be livestreamed at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

And with all that being said, here are the nominees:

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Miranda Lambert
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Morgan Wallen

Female Artist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Carly Pearce
Lainey Wilson

Male Artist of the Year

Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Jordan Davis
Chris Stapleton
Morgan Wallen

Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Maddie & Tae
The War and Treaty

Group of the Year

Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

New Female Artist of the Year

Priscilla Block
Megan Moroney
Caitlyn Smith
Morgan Wade
Hailey Whitters

New Male Artist of the Year

Zach Bryan
Jackson Dean
Dylan Scott
Nate Smith
Bailey Zimmerman

Album of the Year

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville – Ashley McBryde
Bell Bottom Country – Lainey Wilson
Growin’ Up – Luke Combs
Mr. Saturday Night – Jon Pardi
Palomino – Miranda Lambert

Single of the Year

“Heart Like A Truck” – Lainey Wilson
“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde
“She Had Me At Heads Carolina” – Cole Swindell
“Thank God” – Kane Brown with Katelyn Brown
“‘Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson

Song of the Year

“Sand In My Boots” – Morgan Wallen
“She Had Me At Heads” Carolina – Cole Swindell
“‘Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
“wait in the truck” – HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson
“You Should Probably Leave” – Chris Stapleton

Visual Media of the Year

“HEARTFIRST” – Kelsea Ballerini
“She Had Me At Heads Carolina” – Cole Swindell
“Thank God” – Kane Brown with Katelyn Brown
“‘Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
“wait in the truck” – HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson
‘What He Didn’t Do” – Carly Pearce

Songwriter of the Year

Nicolle Galyon
Ashley Gorley
Chase McGill
Josh Osborne
Hunter Phelps

Music Event of the Year

“At the End of a Bar” – Chris Young with Mitchell Tenpenny
“She Had Me At Heads Carolina [Remix]” – Cole Swindell & Jo Dee Messina
“Thank God” – Kane Brown with Katelyn Brown
“Thinking ‘Bout You” – Dustin Lynch feat. MacKenzie Porter
“wait in the truck” – HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock