Why Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter Album Isn’t Nominated at the 2024 ACM Awards

Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Cody Johnson, Morgan Wallen and Kelsea Ballerini are all nominated for album of the year at the 2024 ACM Awards — which may lead some to think, “Where’s Beyoncé?”

The 32-time Grammy winner’s country album, Cowboy Carter, has spawned hits, topped several Billboard charts and broke records since its March 29 release. With the 2024 ACM Awards set to air live on May 16 from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, it’s understandable to feel confused regarding Beyoncé’s lack of nominations at the ceremony — but PEOPLE can explain.

According to a press release from the Academy of Country Music, the eligibility period to submit works for this year’s show was from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023, meaning Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter didn’t make the cut. However, the album will be considered for the 2025 ceremony.

Beyoncé ‘Cowboy Carter’ Album Cover. Beyonce Instagram

Next year, it’s likely the album will be a strong contender. After announcing Cowboy Carter during the Super Bowl in February, the Destiny’s Child alum, 42, earned a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” making her the first Black woman to reach the top slot on one of the publication’s country charts.

Following the release of Cowboy Carter on March 29, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and made Beyoncé first Black woman to ever top the Hot Country Albums chart. She also earned top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with her cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” as well as “II Most Wanted” featuring Miley Cyrus.

In a statement after the album dropped, Beyoncé spoke about exploring the country genre. “The joy of creating music is that there are no rules,” she said at the time. “The more I see the world evolving the more I felt a deeper connection to purity.”

Beyoncé in Los Angeles in April 2024. Amy Sussman/Getty

“With artificial intelligence and digital filters and programming, I wanted to go back to real instruments, and I used very old ones,” she continued. “I didn’t want some layers of instruments like strings, especially guitars, and organs perfectly in tune. I kept some songs raw and leaned into folk.”

Beyoncé added, “All the sounds were so organic and human, everyday things like the wind, snaps and even the sound of birds and chickens, the sounds of nature.”

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Luke Combs, Megan Moroney and Morgan Wallen. Lester Cohen/Getty; Terry Wyatt/Getty; Scott Kirkland/Disney via Getty

This year’s ACM Awards saw Combs lead the nominations with eight, followed by Wallen and Megan Moroney with six each. The coveted album of the year category features Combs’ Gettin’ Old, Stapleton’s Higher, Johnson’s Leather, Wallen’s One Thing at a Time and Ballerini’s Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good).

The 2024 ACM Awards, hosted by Reba McEntire, will stream live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on May 16 via Prime Video.

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