• CHRIS STAPLETON WINS MALE VOCALIST, SINGLE AND SONG OF THE YEAR AT THIS YEAR’S CMA AWARDS.

    Chris Stapleton was the night’s big winner. He took home three trophies, including the hardware for Male Vocalist of the Year (for the third year in a row) and for Single and Song of the Year for “Broken Halos,” which he co-wrote with his friend Mike Henderson.

    He says he’s always surprised to hear his name called when it comes to awards. “These things are always fantastic to win, but when you get nominated or invited to these parties, in my estimation, you’ve already won and you’ve already gotten to be far beyond anything, you know, anybody who’s a musician could ever dream of getting to do, and we get to do that every day, we get to live it every day. As far as thinking about going into anything, I’m always genuinely surprised to win anything, and I’m always grateful for it.”

    Chris is making his way up the country charts with his latest song, “Millionaire,” which is from his current album, From A Room: Volume 2.

    Audio / Chris Stapleton says he's always surprised when he wins awards.

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    Chris Stapleton (CMA 2018) OC: …grateful for it. :30
    “These things are always fantastic to win, but when you get nominated or invited to these parties, in my estimation, you’ve already won and you’ve already gotten to be far beyond anything, you know, anybody who’s a musician could ever dream of getting to do, and we get to do that every day, we get to live it every day. As far as thinking about going into anything, I’m always genuinely surprised to win anything, and I’m always grateful for it.”

  • CMA AWARDS 2018: Single and Song of the Year

    Chris Stapleton is nominated for numerous awards at this year’s CMA Awards, including both Single and Song of the Year for his smash “Broken Halos.”

    He is a seven-time CMA Awards winner with 16 total career nominations. He is the reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year winner. He returns this year as the most nominated artist of the night with nods in the Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year categories.

    Sam Hunt’s HUGE hit “Body Like a Back Road,” which broke numerous records and is still one of the best played and streamed songs, is nominated for Song of the Year. Sam wrote the tune with Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.

    Sam was overwhelmed by the response from fans. “It’s awesome to have a reaction like that from a song, because that song was kind of uncharted territory for me,” says Sam. “So, it almost felt like I was putting out my first record for the first time where you conceptualize this idea and you’ve already conceptualized the reaction that you expect to have to this a song and you just hope that it all comes true. And this exceeded those expectations by a long shot, so it was just really great.”

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (November 14th) at 8pm ET/PT on ABC.

     

    SINGLE OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s))

    “Broken Halos” – Chris Stapleton
    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

    “Drinkin’ Problem” – Midland
    Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
    Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank

    “Drowns the Whiskey” – Jason Aldean (Feat. Miranda Lambert)
    Producer: Michael Knox
    Mix Engineer: Jeff Braun

    “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
    Producer: Willshire
    Mix Engineer: Serban Ghenea

    “Tequila” – Dan + Shay
    Producers: Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers
    Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

     

    SONG OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Songwriter(s))

    “Body Like A Back Road”
    Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

    “Broken Halos”
    Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

    “Drowns the Whiskey”
    Songwriter: Brandon Kinney, Jeff Middleton, Josh Thompson

    “Drunk Girl”
    Songwriter: Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas, Chris Janson

    “Tequila”
    Songwriter: Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers

     

    Audio / CHRIS STAPLETON TALKS ABOUT SONGS HOLDING UP YEARS AFTER THEY’RE WRITTEN.

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    Chris Stapleton (songs holding up) OC: …a good song. :29
    “If you can write a song and you listen to it 10 years away from writing it and go, ‘You know, that’s a pretty good song. I like that song,’ then it’s a pretty good indication that it’s probably okay because it’s holding up. If it held up the day you wrote it and it holds up for you in a completely different segment of your life, hopefully that means it’ll help more people, and it’ll mean more to more people. It’s gonna mean something to different people if it’s a good song.”

    Audio / Sam Hunt was overwhelmed by the reaction to his song, "Body Like a Back Road."

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    Sam Hunt (BLABR) OC: …get going. :33
    “It’s awesome to have a reaction like that from a song, because that song was kind of uncharted territory for me. So, it almost felt like I was putting out my first record for the first time where you conceptualize this idea and you’ve already conceptualized the reaction that you expect to have to this a song and you just hope that it all comes true. And this exceeded those expectations by a long shot, so it was just really great. I was just really humbled by how many people were anticipating new music, because that really helped this song have legs and really get going.”

  • MORE PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED FOR THIS YEAR’S CMA AWARDS.

    Lauren Alaina, Jon Pardi, Vince Gill and Chris Stapleton with Maren Morris and Mavis Staples have been added to the list of performers for this year’s CMA Awards, along with Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy, Marty Stuart, Cole Swindell, Lindsay Ell, Chris Janson, Sierra Hull and Carson Peters.

    They join previously announced performers include Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley with Brothers Osborne, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line with Bebe Rexha, Midland, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Pistol Annies, Thomas Rhett, Underwood, Keith Urban and Brett Young. Presenters will be announced next week.

    Lauren, who just released her new song “Ladies in the ‘90s,” is a two-time CMA Awards nominee. She returns this year with a nomination for New Artist of the Year.

    Vince is a 54-time CMA Awards nominee and 18-time winner. He holds the r ecord for most wins in the Song of the Year category. He is also tied for most wins in the Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year (previously Vocal Event of the Year) categories. He returns this year with his 12th nomination for Musical Event of the Year.

    Stapleton is a seven-time CMA Awards winner with 16 total career nominations. He is the reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year winner. He returns this year as the most nominated artist of the night with nods in the Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year categories.

    Pardi is a two-time CMA Awards nominee, taking home his first win in 2017 for New Artist of the Year.

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET on ABC.

  • CMA AWARDS 2018: Male Vocalist of the Year

    Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and Keith Urban are all vying for Male Vocalist of the Year at this year’s CMA Awards.

    Chris receives his fourth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, a category he remains undefeated in, having won the past three years. Chris is also nominated for Entertainer, Album, Single and Song of the Year (“Broken Halos”).

    Dierks marked his fifth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. He also lands a nod for Album of the Year for The Mountain, as well as Musical Event of the Year alongside Brothers Osborne for their collaboration “Burning Man.” With this year’s nominations, Bentley collects 24 total career nominations.

    Keith has the chance to take home several awards going into next week’s CMA Awards, including Male Vocalist, Entertainer and Album of the Year for Graffiti U. This year marks his 14th nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year.

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET on ABC.

    MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    Dierks Bentley
    Luke Combs
    Thomas Rhett
    Chris Stapleton
    Keith Urban

    Audio / DIERKS BENTLEY SAID HE WOULD LOVE TO WIN AN AWARD AT WEDNESDAY’S CMA AWARDS, BUT HE SAYS HE ALSO GETS RECOGNIZED EVERY NIGHT BY HIS FANS.

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    Dierks Bentley (CMA nomination) OC: …as it is. :38
    “People always say it’s good to be nominated, but you think about how crowded the country music field is, how many people are trying to get in and no one’s really trying to get out. I mean, just packing more singers into one format, so to be one of the five performers to be nominated, it is pretty cool. Yeah, I’d obviously like to win one.  I got one in the previous decade, it’d be fun to get one in the teens, but yeah, either way, it’s not where, you know … the reward really lies in getting the chance to tour and get up in front of your audience every night. A trophy would be awesome, to get recognized by your peers and all that, but I get to go out there and be recognized every night by the fans that cheer for us and sing for us, so my cup is pretty overflowing as it is.”

    Audio / DIERKS BENTLEY LOOKS BACK AT HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH FOR THE CMA HORIZON AWARD IN 2005 (the Horizon Award was renamed as New Artist of the Year).

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    Dierks Bentley (CMA Horizon memory) OC: …down the road. :43
    “There’s a lot of Jager bombs between then and now and three kids. Looking at that is like looking at a totally different person. My wife was there. It was helpful to see her. It kinda gave me a frame of reference where I was in my life. I think we had just gotten married that year, but gosh, that is a long, long time ago. I’d like to win one again sometime. Have more fresh memories. I’m sure it felt great. Winning a CMA must, is, obviously I’ve won one, it’s a great feeling. I’ve been nominated a bunch. I know what that feels like. Nominations are probably, that roller coaster ride is something I’m more familiar with than actually winning. But it’s cool and hopefully happens again down the road.”

    Audio / CHRIS STAPLETON SAYS HE’S VERY GRATEFUL FOR HIS AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS, AS WELL AS ALL OF HIS SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS.

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    Chris Stapleton (grateful for awards) OC: …grateful for the moment. :30
    “Well I’ll take ’em home with me I guess once they send ’em Yeah I guess you have to at some point, but it still is a very… I’m thankful for it and it’s very nice and there’s a lot of great people doing a lot of great things making a lot of great music and working really hard and so when you get this kind of a thing going, I don’t think anybody deserves it. It’s a lot of luck and a lot of stars lining up so, I’m grateful for the moment.”

    Audio / KEITH URBAN PICKED UP HIS FIRST CMA MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD IN 2004, AND HE SAYS IT WAS A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE FOR HIM. HE WENT ON TO WIN THAT AWARD AGAIN IN 2005 AND 2006.

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    Keith Urban (winning 1st Male Vocalist award) OC: …my life. :27
    “In 2004, I won Male Vocalist of the Year, and again it was that same feeling I had when I’d won the Horizon Award, but it was like the next level.  It just felt so humbling really. Really to be in that category and then to win was again just one of those sort of moments that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

     

  • CMA AWARDS 2018: Album of the Year

    Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 2, Dierks Bentley’s The Mountain, Kacey MusgravesGolden Hour and Keith Urban’s Graffiti U are all nominated for CMA Album of the Year.

    Chris, who tops the list of CMA finalists with five nominations, has previously won the Album category for his first two solo albums – Traveller (2015) and From a Room: Volume 1 (2017).

    Dierks earned his sixth career nomination for Album of the Year alongside producers Ross Copperman, Jon Randall Stewart and Arturo Buenahora Jr., while also marking his fifth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. He also lands a nod alongside Brothers Osborne for Musical Event of the Year for their collaboration “Burning Man,” Bentley’s third nomination in the category. He won Musical Event in 2016 for his song “Different For Girls” (Feat. Elle King). With this year’s nominations, Bentley collects 24 total career nominations.

    Kacey picked up another nomination for Album of the Year, having previously been nominated for this same award in 2013 for Same Trailer Different Park and in 2015 for Pageant Material. She won New Artist of the Year in 2013 and Song of the Year for “Follow Your Arrow” in 2014. In 2016, she won the CMA International Achievement Award. This year, she’s also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year.

    Keith earned three more CMA nominations, including Album of the Year. This year marks Keith Urban’s 14th nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, 11th nomination in the Entertainer of the Year category, and his sixth nomination in the Album of the Year category for Graffiti U, bringing his career nominations to 45 with 11 total wins.

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET on ABC.

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

    From a Room: Volume 2 – Chris Stapleton
    Golden Hour
     – Kacey Musgraves
    Graffiti U
     – Keith Urban
    Life Changes – Thomas Rhett
    The Mountain
     – Dierks Bentley

    Audio / Chris Stapleton talks about making records.

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    Chris Stapleton (making records) OC: …top to bottom. :37
    “We’re all incredibly fortunate that out on the road that the people who come out to the shows dig that deep. It sure is a powerful thing when you can pull out an album cut and have everybody sing along and have somebody be excited about it or watch that be somebody’s song they were hoping you were going to play that night. I care about the album, quite a bit, and I kind of learned that from Tom Petty. He made my favorite record of all time, which was Wild Flowers, and that album really made me appreciate the album, top to bottom. I try to think about that record a lot when I’m making records, and that’s the way I feel about albums. I want them to be good, top to bottom.”

    Audio / DIERKS BENTLEY WAS INSPIRED BY TELLURIDE TO WRITE AND RECORD HIS CMA NOMINATED ALBUM, THE MOUNTAIN.

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    Dierks Bentley (album inspired by Telluride) 2 OC: …it was magic. :53
    “I just had this crazy idea to bring some songwriters out there and let them go for hikes and walk around town and just hang and see if they can sense that same intangible vibe that I was sensing, and they did. We jumped right into it and it was really, really special. And everyone immediately starts talking about how can we start getting back out here again, because it’s one of those places you just like never want to leave. Ross said, ‘We should come back out here to make the record,’ and we all kinda laughed about it, but it planted the seed. So, I came back a few months later with a different set of guys and girls, musicians, and we recorded the album out there.” It’s one of those things where you just kind of follow your gut, just keep your heart open to ideas and see what you’re feeling, and once you get that little, tiny feeling, you’ve got to go for it, just like that gut instinct of I want to be a country singer. It’s that little seed that if you believe in it, you’ve got to go for it, try it, so that’s what we did with this album, and it was magic.”

    Audio / KACEY MUSGRAVES TALKS ABOUT THE TITLE OF HER CMA NOMINATED ALBUM, GOLDEN HOUR.

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    Kacey Musgraves (Golden Hour title) OC: …this record. :34
    “The title Golden Hour just seemed to sum up this chapter of my life perfectly. I mean not only am I from a town called Golden, Texas, but leading up to making this record, there’s been a lot of beauty in my atmosphere and in my world. I love the picture that pops in my head when I hear that title. It’s also an actual song on the record, but it’s just this warm, golden feeling that I’m really happy to have in my life, and I found it to be the perfect title for this record.”

    Audio / Keith Urban talks about the decision to name his latest album, Graffiti U.

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    Keith Urban (Graffiti U name) OC: …that to me. :53
    “The previous two albums I did – Fuse and Ripcord – denoted a kind of energy, and so those titles were chosen for that. And I had some energy-driven titles in mind for this album too, but as the record started to reveal itself to me, the word ‘graffiti’ kept coming to me out of the blue. I’ve always loved that word, loved the sound of the word, and then I loved the fact that it’s art-driven. When I think of graffiti, I think of self-expression, personal expression, absolutely personal expression whether you’re painting something on the side of a building in a city or whether you’re painting ‘Billy Bob Loves Charlene’ on the side of an overpass [laughs], it’s all graffiti and it’s all free and pure and very personal, and I thought this record feels like that to me.”

  • CMA AWARDS 2018: Entertainer of the Year

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards are a little over a week away, and we’ll be highlighting different categories. Today, we give you the Entertainer of the Year category, which includes Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan, as well as Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney.

    Stapleton tops the list of CMA finalists with five nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, as well as Single and Song of the Year for “Broken Halos,” Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for From A Room: Volume 2.  With all of these nominations, he adds to his previous 11 nominations and seven wins. He lands his third consecutive nod for Entertainer of the Year. He previously won Album for his first two solo albums, Traveller, awarded in 2015, and From A Room: Volume 1, awarded in 2017. Stapleton also receives his fourth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, a category he remains undefeated in, having won the past three years.

    Luke is once again nominated for the CMA Entertainer of the Year award, which he has won twice before in 2014 and 2015. The Georgia native says winning his first CMA Entertainer of the Year award was life-altering. “Winning my first CMA Entertainer of the Year award is something that I’ll never forget. It’s all of those memories of everything it took to get here and all the sacrifices and all the honkytonks and the late-night concerts and moving to Nashville and leaving your family and your friends, it all came together on that night,” says Luke. “To get that from your peers of fellow country music artists was pretty amazing. You never forget it. You forever feel vindicated and you feel appreciated and you feel like you’re a member of a club, and you know no matter how long you live that you left an indelible mark on this industry based on how you go about it, how you entertain and perform.” As a matter of fact, his first CMA Entertainer award was his first ever CMA Award he’d ever won.

    Keith picked up the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award in 2005, and it’s a moment he will cherish the rest of his life. “What I remember about the Entertainer of the Year category in 2005 was that first feeling when people say it’s just an honor to be nominated, and I thought, ‘I know what that means! I know what that feels like,’ because for me it was a huge honor to be nominated so soon into my recording career,” says Keith. “To be in that category, it just felt unbelievably quick for me. And then when they read my name out as the winner, I think I actually said, ‘I thought I was just rounding out the category,’ because [laughs] I thought you’ve got to have four or five people in the category. I truly did not expect that to happen. It was just such a magical night.” Keith has the chance to take home several awards going into this year’s CMA Awards, including Entertainer, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for Graffiti U. This year marks Keith Urban’s 14th nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, 11th nomination in the Entertainer of the Year category, and his sixth nomination in the Album of the Year category, bringing his career nominations to 45 with 11 total wins.

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET on ABC.

    Audio / Chris Stapleton says all the awards and accolades he's received have been like a "fairy tale."

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    Chris Stapleton (success is a dream) OC: …larger dream. :15
    “It’s an unimaginable fairy tale of a thing, really. We’re so proud just to get to make music and go out and play it for people and make records, that’s the dream. And when you have all these other things that people are nice enough to give you, that makes the dream an even larger dream.”

    Audio / Luke says winning his first CMA Entertainer of the Year Award was life-changing for him.

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    Luke Bryan (winning 1st CMA Entertainer of the Year) OC: …big deal for me. :55
    “Definitely looking back and winning my first CMA Entertainer of the Year award is something that I’ll never forget. It’s all of those memories of everything it took to get here and all the sacrifices and all the honkytonks and the late-night concerts and moving to Nashville and leaving your family and your friends, it all came together on that night. To get that from your peers of fellow country music artists was pretty amazing. You never forget it. You forever feel vindicated and you feel appreciated and you feel like you’re a member of a club, and you know no matter how long you live that you left an indelible mark on this industry based on how you go about it, how you entertain and perform. It was a big deal for me.”

    Audio / BACKSTAGE IN THE PRESSROOM AFTER WINNING THE CMA ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN 2014, LUKE BRYAN SAID HE WAS SO HUMBLED AND OVERWHELMED THE CMA VOTERS FELT HE HAD EARNED IT.

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    Luke Bryan (CMA Entertainer win) OC: …hard to describe. 1:05
    “To try to understand you would win your first CMA Award and it’s the Entertainer of the Year…I have longed and sought after many years to get one of these in my hands. To get the respect of the CMA Board and all of its voters and win this is a ginormous deal, something I could not express out on stage when I was winning it, but I can’t help but in the back of my mind want some of that respect from this body of people. So, I’m just really humbled. I think about just the hard work it took to get here, and I’m really just so blessed that this is from the CMA and I’ll never take a second of it for granted. I, honestly from the bottom of my heart, I go out on stage every night and try to sing it and perform it and entertain it like it’s my last and now, it’s like, Whew! It’s hard to describe.”

    Audio / KEITH URBAN RECALLS WINNING HIS FIRST AND ONLY CMA ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN 2005.

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    Keith Urban (winning EOY in 2005) OC: …magical night. :43
    “What I remember about the Entertainer of the Year category in 2005 was that first feeling when people say it’s just an honor to be nominated, and I thought, ‘I know what that means! I know what that feels like,’ because for me it was a huge honor to be nominated so soon into my recording career. To be in that category, it just felt unbelievably quick for me. And then when they read my name out as the winner, I think I actually said, ‘I thought I was just rounding out the category,’ because [laughs] I thought you’ve got to have four or five people in the category. I truly did not expect that to happen. It was just such a magical night.”

     

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Jordan, Keith, Chris, Josh, Kacey and more

    Jordan Davis performed at half-time during Sunday Night Football’s match-up yesterday (October 28th) between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. New Orleans came from behind to win the game 30-20.

     

    Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton and Lady Antebellum will headline next year’s C2C: Country to Country music festival. The three-day event, which runs March 8th-10th in London, Glasgow and Dublin, will also feature performances by Lyle Lovett, Brett Eldredge, Dustin Lynch and many more.

    Josh Turner was able to take a couple of days to spend with his family (which includes his wife and four sons) at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida for the boys fall break. His first gospel album, I Serve a Savior, is available now.

    Kacey Musgraves covered Keane‘s “Somewhere Only We Know” for the BBC last week, and over the weekend, the band’s Tom Chaplin joined her at her show in London for a live performance of the song.

     

     

     

  • THE 2018 CMA NOMINATIONS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED.

    Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay and Sugarland announced the final nominations for The 52nd Annual CMA Awards this morning (August 28th) live on ABC’s Good Morning America from Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink bar located on Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville.

    The artists revealed six categories live on-air, then announced the remaining six categories, along with finalists for the CMA Broadcast Awards, on GoodMorningAmerica.com as well as via “Good Morning America’s” Facebook page through Facebook Live, Twitter and simulcast on “Good Morning America’s” YouTube channel.

    Chris Stapleton tops the list of finalists with five nominations. Producer and musician Dann Huff receives four nominations, the second most nominations this year, while nine artists garner three each—Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Janson, Miranda Lambert, Midland, Thomas Rhett and Keith Urban.

    CHRIS STAPLETON – FIVE NOMINATIONS
    Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year (“Broken Halos”), Album of the Year (From A Room: Volume 2), Song of the Year (“Broken Halos”), Male Vocalist of the Year 

    Stapleton leads this year’s CMA Awards nominations with five, adding to his previous 11 nominations and seven wins. He lands his third consecutive nod for Entertainer of the Year in addition to nominations in the Single and Song of the Year categories for “Broken Halos,” produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton, mixed by Vance Powell, and written by Mike Henderson and Stapleton. Stapleton earns his third nomination for Album of the Year for From A Room: Volume 2, produced by Cobb and Stapleton. He previously won Album for his first two solo albums, Traveller, awarded in 2015, and From A Room: Volume 1, awarded in 2017. Stapleton also receives his fourth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, a category he remains undefeated in, having won the past three years.

    DIERKS BENTLEY – THREE NOMINATIONS
    Album of the Year (The Mountain), Male Vocalist of the Year, Musical Event of the Year (“Burning Man”)

    Dierks Bentley earns his sixth career nomination for Album of the Year, alongside producers Ross Copperman, Jon Randall Stewart, and Arturo Buenahora Jr., while also marking his fifth consecutive nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. He also lands a nod alongside Brothers Osborne for Musical Event of the Year for their collaboration “Burning Man,” Bentley’s third nomination in the category. He won Musical Event in 2016 for his song “Different For Girls” (Feat. Elle King). With this year’s nominations, Bentley collects 24 total career nominations.

    KEITH URBAN – THREE NOMINATIONS
    Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year (Graffiti U), Male Vocalist of the Year

    This year marks Keith Urban’s 14th nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, 11th nomination in the Entertainer of the Year category, and his sixth nomination in the Album of the Year category for Graffiti U, bringing his career nominations to 45 with 11 total wins. Urban shares the nomination with the album’s producers Dan McCarroll, J.R. Rotem, Josh Kerr, Jason Evigan, Greg Wells, Benny Blanco, Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Jesse Shatkin, Jimmy Robbins, Oscar Holter, Matt Rad, Eric Valentine, Ian Kirkpatrick, Mike Elizondo, Captain Cuts, Copperman, Huff, and Peter Karlsson. Urban is the reigning Single of the Year winner for his song “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” which he also produced.

    The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET on ABC.

    For more information and a full list of nominees, visit CMAawards.com.

    The Final Nominees for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” (by ballot category order):

    ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
    Jason Aldean
    Luke Bryan
    Kenny Chesney
    Chris Stapleton
    Keith Urban

    SINGLE OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s))

    Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton
    Producer(s): Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    Mix Engineer(s): Vance Powell

    Drinkin’ Problem – Midland
    Producer(s): Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
    Mix Engineer(s): Justin Niebank

    Drowns the Whiskey – Jason Aldean (Feat. Miranda Lambert)
    Producer(s): Michael Knox
    Mix Engineer(s): Jeff Braun

    Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
    Producer(s): Willshire
    Mix Engineer(s): Serban Ghenea

    Tequila – Dan + Shay
    Producer(s): Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers
    Mix Engineer(s): Jeff Juliano

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

    From a Room: Volume 2Chris Stapleton
    Golden HourKacey Musgraves
    Graffiti UKeith Urban
    Life ChangesThomas Rhett
    The MountainDierks Bentley

    SONG OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Songwriter(s))

    “Body Like A Back Road”
    Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

    “Broken Halos”
    Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

    “Drowns the Whiskey”
    Songwriter: Brandon Kinney, Jeff Middleton, Josh Thompson

    “Drunk Girl”
    Songwriter: Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas, Chris Janson

    “Tequila”
    Songwriter: Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers

    FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    Kelsea Ballerini
    Miranda Lambert
    Kacey Musgraves
    Maren Morris
    Carrie Underwood

    MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    Dierks Bentley
    Luke Combs
    Thomas Rhett
    Chris Stapleton
    Keith Urban

    VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
    Lady Antebellum
    Lanco
    Little Big Town
    Midland
    Old Dominion

    VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
    Brothers Osborne
    Dan + Shay
    Florida Georgia Line
    Maddie & Tae
    Sugarland

    MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to each Artist)

    “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne
    “Dear Hate” – Maren Morris (Feat. Vince Gill)
    “Drowns the Whiskey” – Jason Aldean (Feat. Miranda Lambert)
    “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” – David Lee Murphy (with Kenny Chesney)
    “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

    MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
    (Award goes to Artist and Director(s))

    “Babe” – Sugarland (Featuring Taylor Swift)
    Director: Anthony Mandler

    “Cry Pretty” – Carrie Underwood
    Director: Randee St. Nicholas

    “Drunk Girl” – Chris Janson
    Director: Jeff Venable

    “Marry Me” – Thomas Rhett
    Director: TK McKamy

    “Tequila” – Dan + Shay
    Director: Patrick Tracy

    NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
    Lauren Alaina
    Luke Combs
    Chris Janson
    Midland
    Brett Young

    MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
    Jerry Douglas, Dobro
    Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
    Dann Huff, Guitar
    Mac McAnally, Guitar
    Derek Wells, Guitar

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Audio / LUKE BRYAN SAY WINNING HIS FIRST CMA ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR AWARD CHANGED HIS LIFE.

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    Luke Bryan (winning 1st CMA Entertainer of the Year) OC: …big deal for me. :55
    “Definitely looking back and winning my first CMA Entertainer of the Year award is something that I’ll never forget. It’s all of those memories of everything it took to get here and all the sacrifices and all the honkytonks and the late-night concerts and moving to Nashville and leaving your family and your friends, it all came together on that night. To get that from your peers of fellow country music artists was pretty amazing. You never forget it. You forever feel vindicated and you feel appreciated and you feel like you’re a member of a club, and you know no matter how long you live that you left an indelible mark on this industry based on how you go about it, how you entertain and perform. It was a big deal for me.”

    Audio / KEITH URBAN PICKED UP HIS FIRST CMA MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD IN 2004, AND HE SAYS IT WAS A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE FOR HIM. HE WENT ON TO WIN THAT AWARD IN 2005 AND 2006.

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    Keith Urban (winning 1st Male Vocalist award) OC: …my life. :27
    “In 2004, I won Male Vocalist of the Year, and again it was that same feeling I had when I’d won the Horizon Award, but it was like the next level.  It just felt so humbling really. Really to be in that category and then to win was again just one of those sort of moments that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

    Audio / Keith Urban explains why he felt the need to name his CMA nominated album, Graffiti U.

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    Keith Urban (Graffiti U name) OC: …that to me. :53
    “The previous two albums I did – Fuse and Ripcord – denoted a kind of energy, and so those titles were chosen for that. And I had some energy-driven titles in mind for this album too, but as the record started to reveal itself to me, the word ‘graffiti’ kept coming to me out of the blue. I’ve always loved that word, loved the sound of the word, and then I loved the fact that it’s art-driven. When I think of graffiti, I think of self-expression, personal expression, absolutely personal expression whether you’re painting something on the side of a building in a city or whether you’re painting ‘Billy Bob Loves Charlene’ on the side of an overpass [laughs], it’s all graffiti and it’s all free and pure and very personal, and I thought this record feels like that to me.”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley was inspired by Telluride to write and record his CMA nominated album, The Mountain.

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    Dierks Bentley (album inspired by Telluride) 2 OC: …it was magic. :53
    “I just had this crazy idea to bring some songwriters out there and let them go for hikes and walk around town and just hang and see if they can sense that same intangible vibe that I was sensing, and they did. We jumped right into it and it was really, really special. And everyone immediately starts talking about how can we start getting back out here again, because it’s one of those places you just like never want to leave. Ross said, ‘We should come back out here to make the record,’ and we all kinda laughed about it, but it planted the seed. So, I came back a few months later with a different set of guys and girls, musicians, and we recorded the album out there.” It’s one of those things where you just kind of follow your gut, just keep your heart open to ideas and see what you’re feeling, and once you get that little, tiny feeling, you’ve got to go for it, just like that gut instinct of I want to be a country singer. It’s that little seed that if you believe in it, you’ve got to go for it, try it, so that’s what we did with this album, and it was magic.”

    Audio / Kacey Musgraves talks about the title of her CMA nominated album, Golden Hour.

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    Kacey Musgraves (Golden Hour title) OC: …this record. :34
    “The title Golden Hour just seemed to sum up this chapter of my life perfectly. I mean not only am I from a town called Golden, Texas, but leading up to making this record, there’s been a lot of beauty in my atmosphere and in my world. I love the picture that pops in my head when I hear that title. It’s also an actual song on the record, but it’s just this warm, golden feeling that I’m really happy to have in my life, and I found it to be the perfect title for this record.”

  • THE CMA FEST TELEVISION SPECIAL, FEATURING SOME OF THE HOTTEST PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR, AIRS WEDNESDAY ON ABC.

    Many of your favorite country stars will be featured on ABC’s three-hour special, CMA Fest on Wednesday (August 8th). The concert special was taped during this year’s CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville in June. For fans who weren’t able to attend, or if you want to revisit the amazing time you had, you can watch Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton, among others, perform on the stage at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans).

    “I’ve always been the type of artist when I can perform my music for a television audience, it’s the best of both worlds. You get to be in people’s households and they get to always put the face with the song,” says Luke. “I mean, this is like a big, awards-show-type crowd in August and yeah, it’s very important. You don’t want to go out there and lay an egg. You want to go put a great show on, because the fans that are in the room, they’re gonna go watch it again in August. And another thing — it’s gonna make people that may not have been to this festival, they’re gonna want to come be a part of that. So, it’s been fun watching CMA Music Fest grow to where it’s sold out every night, and that’s because we put a cool thing to watch on TV together for the fans.”

    The CMA Fest special, hosted by Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini, airs Wednesday (August 8t) beginning at 8pm ET on ABC.

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about the CMA Fest television special and how much he enjoys performing on it.

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    Luke Bryan (CMA Music Festival TV) OC: …for the fans. 1:00
    “I’ve always been the type of artist when I can perform my music for a television audience, it’s the best of both worlds. You get to be in people’s households and they get to always put the face with the song. I mean, that used to be a big deal in my career, in my early career, we had to make sure that the people watching at home put it together that this crazy guy was singing in the song. I mean, this is like a big, awards-show-type crowd in August and yeah, it’s very important. You don’t want to go out there and lay an egg. You want to go put a great show on, because the fans that are in the room, they’re gonna go watch it again in August. And another thing — it’s gonna make people that may not have been to this festival, they’re gonna want to come be a part of that. So it’s been fun watching CMA Music Fest grow to where it’s sold out every night, and that’s because we put a cool thing to watch on TV together for the fans.”

    Audio / Keith Urban says he tries to show up and perform on CMA Music Fest every year because of the fans.

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    Keith Urban (CMA Fest TV) OC: …it’s my tribe. :15
    “Well, number one, for the fans, who come from all over the world to be here, and it’s an amazing week for them. But for me personally too, I love the work that all of the CMA Board and all of the Foundation do. You know, they’ve been very good to me over the years, and it’s my tribe.”

    Audio / Carrie Underwood talks about CMA Music Fest.

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    Carrie Underwood (CMA Music Festival) OC: …when they’re here. 1:05
    “CMA Music Festival is so much fun, and every year they do a TV special, which is really cool. We kind of get to give the rest of the world that didn’t get to come to the Music Fest a little taste of what it’s like and hopefully they’ll see it and want to come next year. But CMA Music Fest is so much fun. No other genre of music does what country music does for their fans like this, which is so cool. There are literally like hundreds of thousands of people that like descend on Nashville, and there’s not a hotel to be found. Everywhere you go there’s people looking for music and looking to see artists and fan club parties and charity events and the CMT Music Awards are that week. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s kind of a way to get to interact and give back and meet the people that have been coming to see you on tour and get to say thank you. It’s just a blast. I came as a kid growing up a couple of times, and it’s cool to be on that side of things and now to be on this side of things, but I think everybody just has a lot of fun when they’re here.”

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  • CHRIS STAPLETON HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE LIST OF PERFORMERS, KIP MOORE A PRESENTER AT THIS YEAR’S ACM HONORS.

    Chris Stapleton joins the lineup of performers for this year’s ACM Honors, hosted by Jon Pardi and Lauren Alaina, taking place at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium August 22nd. Kip Moore has been added as a presenter, along with Ricky Skaggs and radio personality Bobby Bones.

    Chris joins previously announced performers including Lauren, Kassi Ashton, Cam, Deana Carter, Morgan Evans, Dustin Lynch, Ashley McBryde, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pardi and songwriters Dallas Davidson & Ben Hayslip. Jordan Davis, Lindsay Ell, Lori McKenna and Storme Warren are presenters.

    As previously announced, Special Award recipients to be celebrated at the 12th Annual ACM Honors include Dierks Bentley (ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award), Matraca Berg (ACM Poet’s Award), Sam Hunt (ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award), Alan Jackson (ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award), Darius Rucker (ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award),Mickey & Chris Christensen and Eddie Miller (ACM Mae Boren Axton Service Award, all awarded posthumously), Rob Potts (ACM Jim Reeves International Award, awarded posthumously), and Norro Wilson (ACM Poet’s Award, awarded posthumously). The evening will also honor winners of the Industry and Studio Recording Awards, along with Songwriter of the Year Award winner, Rhett Akins.