NASHVILLE—The Country Music Association has announced the final nominees for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” as 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.
Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay and Sugarland appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today, live from Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, Bryan’s new restaurant and bar in downtown Nashville, to reveal six of the 12 categories on air. Immediately following the broadcast, Dan + Shay and Sugarland announced the remaining six categories in addition to the CMA Broadcast Awards nominees on GoodMorningAmerica.com as well as “Good Morning America’s” Facebook Live and simulcast on the top-rated show’s YouTube channel. The livestream was also viewed on CMA’s Facebook page.
“Today kicks off CMA Awards season where we get to honor the best of the best in our outstanding format,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern. “There were some great breakout performances this year and the diversity of the nominations honors new faces and some favorite returning names.”
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return for an 11th year to host “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” Country Music’s Biggest Night™, broadcasting live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8/7c on the ABC Television Network. Media and publicist credential applications for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” are located at CMAPress.com. The deadline to apply is Friday, September 28 at 5:00 PM/CT.
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.
DANN HUFF – FOUR NOMINATIONS Single of the Year (“Drinkin’ Problem”), Album of the Year (Graffiti U), Album of the Year (Life Changes), Musician of the Year (Guitar)
Producer and musician Dann Huff garners the second most nominations, receiving four nominations for his behind-the-scenes work with multiple artists. Huff is a 31-time nominee with three previous wins for Musician of the Year and two previous wins for Single of the Year. This year, he’s once again nominated in both of these categories. His Single nomination for producing Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” earns Huff his sixth nomination in the category. He also lands two Album of the Year nods for his production work on Keith Urban’s Graffiti U and Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes. Huff earns his 18th nomination in the Musician of the Year category, which he last won in 2016.
JASON ALDEAN – THREE NOMINATIONS Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year (“Drowns the Whiskey”), Musical Event of the Year (“Drowns the Whiskey”)
Jason Aldean adds three nominations to his 14 career nominations. His Entertainer of the Year nomination is his first since 2015 and his fourth nomination in the category. This year, Aldean lands two nominations alongside Miranda Lambert for Single of the Year, along with producer Michael Knox and mix engineer Jeff Braun, and Musical Event of the Year for their collaboration “Drowns the Whiskey.” Aldean has two previous nominations for Musical Event, having won in 2011 for his song “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson, as well as two nominations for Single.
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.
DAN + SHAY – THREE NOMINATIONS Single of the Year (“Tequila”), Vocal Duo of the Year, Music Video of the Year (“Tequila”)
Adding to their four career nominations, Dan + Shay receive three nominations this year, with two first-time nominations for “Tequila” in the Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year categories. “Tequila” lands the song’s producers, Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers along with Scott Hendricks, as well as mix engineer Jeff Juliano, nominations for Single, while director Patrick Tracy earns his first nomination for Music Video. Dan + Shay also land a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year, their fifth consecutive nomination in the category. Smyers earns a second nomination for Song of the Year for co-writing “Tequila” alongside Nicolle Galyon and Jordan Reynolds. A win in any category this year would mark Dan + Shay’s first-ever CMA Award.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE – THREE NOMINATIONS Single of the Year (“Meant to Be”), Vocal Duo of the Year, Musical Event of the Year (“Meant to Be”)
Florida Georgia Line becomes six-time Vocal Duo of the Year nominees this year in addition to landing nominations for Single of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “Meant to Be,” their collaboration with Bebe Rexha. “Meant to Be” also earns Single nominations for producer Willshire and mix engineer Serban Ghenea. Florida Georgia Line previously won in the Single category in 2013 for their song “Cruise.” This year marks Rexha’s first-ever CMA Awards nominations.
CHRIS JANSON – THREE NOMINATIONS Song of the Year (“Drunk Girl”), Music Video of the Year (“Drunk Girl”), New Artist of the Year
With three nominations this year, Chris Janson ties Midland for the top earning first-time nominee. His song “Drunk Girl” lands nods for Song of the Year, alongside co-writers Scooter Carusoe and Tom Douglas, and Music Video of the Year, directed by Jeff Venable. Janson is also up for New Artist of the Year.
MIRANDA LAMBERT – THREE NOMINATIONS Single of the Year (“Drowns the Whiskey”), Female Vocalist of the Year, Musical Event of the Year (“Drowns the Whiskey”)
Not only is Miranda Lambert the most-awarded female in CMA Awards history with 13 total wins, but she’s also the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year, earning her 12th consecutive nomination in the category this year. Lambert collects two nominations with her Jason Aldean collaboration “Drowns the Whiskey” for Single of the Year, along with producer Michael Knox and mix engineer Jeff Braun, as well as for Musical Event of the Year, bringing her total career nominations to 47.
MIDLAND – THREE NOMINATIONS Single of the Year (“Drinkin’ Problem”), Vocal Group of the Year, New Artist of the Year
Midland ties for the top earning first-time nominees, matching Chris Janson’s three nominations this year. The trio lands a Single of the Year nomination for “Drinkin’ Problem” along with producers Huff, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne, and mix engineer Justin Niebank. Midland also receives nominations for Vocal Group of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
THOMAS RHETT – THREE NOMINATIONS Album of the Year (Life Changes), Male Vocalist of the Year, Music Video of the Year (“Marry Me”)
Thomas Rhett collects his second consecutive nomination in the Male Vocalist of the Year category this year. His album Life Changes earns his first-ever Album of the Year nomination, which he shares with producers Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Huff, and Joe London. Thomas Rhett also receives a nomination for Music Video of the Year for his song “Marry Me,” directed by TK McKamy.
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. Winners of “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Monday, Oct. 1. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Tuesday, Oct. 23 (6:00 PM/CT). All balloting is tabulated by the professional services firm Deloitte & Touche LLP.Read more →
Jason Aldean takes the top spot on the Billboard Country Airplay for a second week and claims this week’s leading position on the Mediabase/Country Aircheck singles chart with his 21st career Number One single “Drowns the Whiskey” featuring Miranda Lambert.
The second consecutive multi-week Number One hit from his record-breaking eighth studio album REARVIEW TOWN follows RIAA’s only PLATINUM Country song released in 2018, “You Make It Easy.”
Written by Brandon Kinney, Jeff Middleton and Josh Thompson, “Drowns the Whiskey” is saturated in well-worn emotions and “harkens back to songs by country legends that explored turning to vices in an attempt to stomp out a heartache” (Wide Open Country). Click below to hear it now.Read more →
Jon Loba, EVP, BBR Music Group; Zach Katz, President, Repertoire & Marketing, BMG US; Michael Knox, Jess Rosen of Greenberg Traurig; Sara Knabe, VP A&R, BBR Music Group.
Country music producer Michael Knox, best known for his work with Jason Aldean, has launched Music Knox Records, a new label venture with BMG.
Though Knox has yet to announce any signings, the imprint will focus on developing artists. Knox discovered Aldean, who is signed to BMG’s Broken Bow Records, in 1998 and has produced all of the country superstar’s albums. He has also worked with Thomas Rhett, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert, among others. Combined, his projects have yielded 21 No. 1s, and 40 million singles and 18 million albums sold, according to BMG.
“I know this sounds cliché, but it’s a dream come true for me,” Knox said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with Zach [Katz, President, Repertoire & Marketing, BMG U.S.], Jon [Loba, EVP, BBR Music Group] and the entire BMG family. Considering our history together, I couldn’t imagine a better team to work with on this exciting new venture.”
Loba added, “I’ve known and worked with Michael since the early days of BBR. He is one of the best song executives in this town and has always had a burning desire to find and develop diamonds in the rough before they move to the 615. We are so thrilled to partner with him in that endeavor.”
“As one of the most successful and in-demand producers in country music, he has had a hand in helping artists navigate and achieve success throughout every stage of their careers – from discovery to development to multi-platinum chart hits,” Katz said. “Michael has an ear for the best up-and-coming artists inside and outside of Nashville; we are excited to show the world what he brings to the table next.”
The CMA and ACM-Award winning Knox remains VP for peermusic in Nashville.Read more →
Building on 2016’s strong They Don’t Know, Jason Aldean released another solid entry this year with Rearview Town. Singing better in the studio than he has since his 2010 breakout My Kinda Party, Aldean delivers a satisfying mix of radio-ready country music. The title track is a defiant kiss-off to a go-nowhere dot on the map, lead single “You Make It Easy” is an R&B Number One, and the Miranda Lambert cameo “Drowns the Whiskey” commands attention for its double dose of star power. But it’s the stunning, vulnerable “Better at Being Who I Am” that captivates, with Aldean lamenting a relationship that was doomed from the moment he tried to be something he’s not. The Georgia native may be known as the genre’s preeminent hard-rocker, but he’s at his best when he’s letting down his guard. J.H.
Read on RollingStone.comRead more →
Directed by longtime collaborator Shaun Silva and shot at Nashville’s oldest dive bar, the Springwater, the official music video for “Drowns the Whiskey” featuring Miranda Lambert is now available everywhere. Click below to watch.
You can also get an inside look into the music video shot at Nashville’s oldest dive bar, the Springwater. Watch the behind the scenes video below.Read more →