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The first round of ACM winners has been announced Instagram/@ACMAwards
Instagram/@ACMAwards

You never forget your first time. Get your minds out of the gutter, y’all. We’re talking about the first time an artist wins an Academy of Country Music Award.

The ACMs have just announced the first crop of winners for this year’s award show — the new artists — and they are some of the hottest up-and-comers in the format.

Ladies first, please! Taking the trophy for ACM New Female Vocalist is Maren Morris. As most of you know, Maren caught country music’s attention with the bluesy ode to old school country, “My Church.” She already won the CMA’s New Artist trophy last year and picked up a Grammy this year for Best Country Solo Performance. The ACM win makes a nice little addition to her growing collection as she prepares to launch the third single, “I Could Use a Love Song,” from her debut album, “Hero.” If you haven’t heard “Hero” yet, pick it up here.

RELATED: These country music fans unexpectedly brought Maren Morris to tears

Big congratulations to the ACMs New Male Vocalist, Jon Pardi. Jon is having a banner week. His newest single, “Dirt On My Boots,” the follow-up to his smash “Head Over Boots,” just went to No. 1, giving him back-to-back chart-topping hits from his sophomore album, “California Sunrise.” He’ll be opening for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on the Soul2Soul Tour in May, and Rare Country just named him one of our “Six Sexiest Cowboys.” This is Jon’s first award show victory, but we predict it’s the first of many to come. If you need to check out “California Sunrise,” you can do that here.

A while back we gave y’all a list of reasons to love Brothers Osborne. You can add that they are now the ACM’s New Vocal Duo or Group to that list. We fell in love with Bros. Os when they released our favorite summertime anthem, “Rum,” and since then it’s just been an all-out love fest with these real life brothers. And not just with us. They are industry darlings known as much for their keen sense of humor as their talent, and they’ve been bringing down the house, literally, at their theater shows. Heck, they’re so dedicated to their fans that when one venue’s ceiling began to crumble, they made their tour bus a stage. They’re four singles deep into their debut album, “Pawn Shop,” and still going strong. Take a listen to it here.

RELATED: Six reasons we absolutely adore Brothers Osborne

Congratulations to all of the ACM New Artist winners. You were already winners to us!

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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