Nominees For ‘The 49th Annual CMA Awards’ Revealed
Nominees for The 49th Annual CMA Awards were revealed this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America by Steven Tyler and Kelsea Ballerini.
Eric Church and Little Big Town lead the pack with five nominations each. They’re followed by Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert, who each earned four nominations. It was also a big morning for Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Kasey Musgraves, and Chris Stapleton, who received three nominations each.
Check out the complete list of nominees below.
Entertainer of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Lee Ann Womack
Vocal Duo of the Year
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Album of the Year
(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))
Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean. Produced by Michael Knox. Broken Bow.
Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves. Produced by Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, and Shane McAnally. Mercury Nashville.
Pain Killer, Little Big Town. Produced by Jay Joyce. Capitol Records Nashville.
The Big Revival, Kenny Chesney. Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney. Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville.
Traveller, Chris Stapleton. Produced by Dave Cobb and Chris Stapleton. Mercury Nashville.
New Artist of the Year
Maddie & Tae
Single of the Year
(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))}
“American Kids,” Kenny Chesney. Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney. Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville
“Girl Crush,” Little Big Town. Produced by Jay Joyce. Capitol Records Nashville
“I Don’t Dance,” Lee Brice. Produced by Lee Brice. Curb Records.
“Take Your Time,” Sam Hunt. Produced Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally. MCA Nashville.
“Talladega,” Eric Church. Produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora, Jr. EMI Records Nashville.
Song of the Year
(Award goes to Songwriter(s))
“American Kids,”Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, and Shane McAnally.
“Girl Crush,” Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey.
“Like a Cowboy,” Randy Houser and Brice Long.
“Like a Wrecking Ball,” Eric Church and Casey Beathard.
“Take Your Time,” Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne.
Music Video of the Year
“Biscuits,” Kacey Musgraves. Directed by Marc Klasfeld
“Girl Crush,” Little Big Town. Directed by Karla Welch and Matthew Welch
“Girl in a Country Song,” Maddie & Tae. Directed by TK McKamy.
“Little Red Wagon,” Miranda Lambert. Directed by Trey Fanjoy.
“Something in the Water,” Carrie Underwood. Directed by Raj Kapoor
Musical Event of the Year
(Award goes to each artist)
“Django and Jimmie,” Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Legacy Recordings.
“Lonely Tonight,” Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe. Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville
“Raise ‘Em Up,” Keith Urban featuring Eric Church. Hit Red Records/Capitol Records Nashville
“Smokin’ and Drinkin,’” Miranda Lambert featuring Little Big Town. RCA Nashville
“Wild Child,” Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville
Musician of the Year
Sam Bush (Mandolin)
Jerry Douglas (Dobro)
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Dann Huff (Guitar)
Mac McAnally (Guitar)
More on the CMA Nominations from Wide Open Country...
The mix of this year’s nominees include most of the usual suspects, but there are two artists you should keep an eye on. The first is Chris Stapleton, the Nashville songwriting veteran who made his solo debut this year with Traveller, which is nominated for Best Album. Stapleton also earned nominations for Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
Stapleton’s voice and style are unlike anything on country radio. He’s not a pretty boy, he’s not bro-country. He’s soulful with all the authenticity and bite of traditional country music. The fact that he’s nominated for three major CMA Awards shows that the current wave of traditional country is resonating with the masses and the industry is taking notice.
The other notable artist is Ballerini, nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. Ballerini is sort of the heir apparent to Taylor Swift. Talented, pretty, and undeniably pop. The industry is pushing for Ballerini to be one of the faces of modern country. Expect to see a lot more of her in 2016.
There’s been a lot of room in country radio for artists like Ballerini and Sam Hunt, who don’t sound much like country at all, yet zero space for artists like Stapleton who keep the spirit of the art form alive. If Stapleton wins, the implication is that similar artists like Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell will find a place on the radio. We’re interested to see how it all shakes out.