ACM Awards Nominations: 16 Snubs & Surprises

ACM Awards Nominations: 16 Snubs & Surprises

The nomination for the 55th ACM Awards were announce on Feb. 27, and while artists like Dan + Shay, Maren Morris and Thomas Rhett racked up multiple nominations, there were more than a few questionable omissions—as well as inclusions—in the nomination process.

Based on my first glance, here are the snubs and surprises from the 55th annual ACM Awards nominations, which recognized artists’ works from January 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2019.

Album of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

  • Center Point Road – Thomas Rhett
  • Girl – Maren Morris
  • Heartache Medication – Jon Pardi
  • What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs
  • Wildcard – Miranda Lambert

Snub: Country Squire – Tyler Childers

Snub: While I’m Livin’ – Tanya Tucker

Snub: The Highwomen – The Highwomen
Country Squire was the best country album of 2019, period. But Tanya and The Highwomen could have—and should have—been nominated. The question becomes, whose nominated album(s) do you remove? I ain’t going there.

Single of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
  • “One Man Band” Old Dominion
  • “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves
  • “Rumor” – Lee Brice
  • “What If I Never Get Over You” – Lady Antebellum

Snub: “Beautiful Crazy” – Luke Combs
Seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart…this was a no-brainer.

Snub: “Old Town Road” – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus.
The song spent a record 19 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. If it deserved a nomination for Musical Event of the Year, it deserved a nomination for Single of the Year.

Snub: “The Git Up” – Blanco Brown
The song spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, which is one of the two charts (Mediabase) referenced in the ACM Single of the Year voting criteria.

Surprise: “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves
“God’s Country,” “One Man Band,” “Rumor” and “What If I Never Get Over You” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. “Rainbow” peaked at No. 33 on the Airplay chart and No. 17 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Yes, “Rainbow” is a fantastic song (see Song of the Year Snub) . . . but is it a fantastic single? I just can’t figure out how one single earns a nomination and one single doesn’t, when chart performance is such a big factor. 

Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriter/Publisher/Artist)

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay feat. Justin Bieber, written by Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Jessie Jo Dillon, Shay Mooney, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers
  • “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” – Ashley McBryde, written by Jeremy Bussey, Ashley McBryde
  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton, written by Devin Dawson, Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt
  • “One Man Band” – Old Dominion, written by Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi
  • “Some of It” – Erich Church, written by Eric Church, Clint Daniels, Jeff Hyde, Bobby Pinson

Snub: “Beautiful Crazy” – Luke Combs, written by Luke Combs, Wyatt Durrette, Robert Williford

Snub: “Rainbow” – Kacey Musgraves, written by Kacey Musgraves, Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally

Songwriter of the Year

  • Ashley Gorley
  • Michael Hardy
  • Hillary Lindsey
  • Shane McAnally
  • Josh Osborne

Surprise: It will be a surprise if anyone other than Ashley Gorley wins.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Carrie Underwood

Snub: Garth Brooks
Come on, get real. Dude deserved a nomination, even if you are Garthed out.

New Male Artist of the Year

  • Jordan Davis
  • Russell Dickerson
  • Riley Green
  • Cody Johnson
  • Morgan Wallen

Surprise: Cody Johnson
I’m happy Cody got a nomination, but the guy is about as “new” as a horse and buggy. He’s been releasing albums as long as Eric Church.

Snub: Jimmie Allen

Video of the Year [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay featuring Justin Bieber
  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
  • “One Man Band” – Old Dominion
  • “Remember You Young” – Thomas Rhett
  • “Sugarcoat” – Little Big Town

Snub: “Second One to Know” – Chris Stapleton
That video was the tops!

Surprise: “One Man Band” – Old Dominion
It’s definitely a great song, but I actually had to go back—just now—and re-watch the video because I couldn’t remember it.

Music Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay featuring Justin Bieber
  • “Dive Bar” – Garth Brooks featuring Blake Shelton
  • “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” – Miranda Lambert featuring Maren Morris, Elle King, Tenille Townes, Ashley McBryde and Caylee Hammack.
  • “Old Town Road” – Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
  • “What Happens in a Small Town” – Brantley Gilbert featuring Lindsay Ell

Snub: “Brand New Man” – Brooks & Dunn feat. Luke Combs
I dare you to try to listen to this song without singing it at the top of your lungs.

Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Looks right.

Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • The Highwomen

Looks right.

Male Artist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Looks right.

Female Artist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

Looks right.

New Female Artist of the Year

  • Ingrid Andress
  • Gabby Barrett
  • Lindsay Ell
  • Caylee Hammack
  • Tenille Townes

Looks right.

photos by Arroyo/O’Connor, AFF-USA.COM

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