ACM Awards 2021: Thomas Rhett Won’t Repeat What Dierks Bentley Was Saying While Heckling Him During Speech

by Jacklyn Krol

Thomas Rhett knows how to keep a secret and wont reveal what Dierks Bentley heckled at him.

On Sunday, April 18, the 2021 ACM Awards took place and Thomas Rhett took home the Male Artist of the Year award.

Rhett accepted his awards at the Grand Ole Opry, while some of his fellow artists were socially distanced in the audience. Thomas Rhett gave a shoutout to his wife, Lauren Akins, and three daughters. “It just feels incredible to be in this category, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s literally my heroes, sitting right here in these seats.”

Rhett spoke about the other nominees, particularly Bentley who was “hollering his shenanigans.” Rhett somewhat clarified what shenanigans ensued.

“I won’t say, for Dierks’ sake,” Rhett told media backstage after the show. “Every time each nominee[‘s name] would come across the screen, he’d say something hilarious, especially when it got to my name. I just couldn’t stop laughing.”

Thomas Rhett admitted that he was initially in shock when he reached the stage. “Every time I looked at Dierks’ face, I just couldn’t stop laughing,” he recalled. “Dierks is always one of my favorite friends, and getting to sit there with Luke and Eric and Dierks, those are the kinds of memories you remember forever.”

Thomas Rhett’s ACMs Night

Thomas Rhett had steep competition for the award. Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, and Luke Combs were also nominated.

“Getting to win this award, man — this is the toughest category, minus Entertainer [of the Year],” Rhett added. But his favorite part of the night was reuniting with friends.

“Getting to sit there with friends of mine, just giving each other crap, and getting to have a good time together, it was very special,” he concluded.

Besides his win, Thomas Rhett also performed “Country Again” and his latest No. 1, “What’s Your Country Song. “While performing, he had an extra appreciation for the limited fans in attendance.

Rhett’s wife, Lauren, graduated with a nursing degree from Belmont. The limited audience members were fully-vaccinated medical workers at Vanderbilt.

“Watching people there tonight, that were literally on the front lines, doing what my wife had trained to do for so long. It almost made me cry, honestly, lookin’ up into those stands,” he admitted.

Being able to treat the frontline workers to music was “one of the most special things I’ve gotten to do in a minute. So, tonight was extra special for that reason,” he concluded.