Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Stapleton Talk Surprise CMA Nominations

10 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2015 CMA Awards Nominations Surprises & Snubs.

“This is the best day ever,” Kelsea Ballerini announces to Rolling Stone Country, a few hours after she helped reveal the nominees for the 49th CMA Awards this morning in New York City. From left, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook, of Little Big Town, arrive at the CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.Looking at the 2015 CMA Awards nominations as a collective whole, you can easily make the argument that in some categories, the cup runneth over — and in others, not so much. Ballerini, who scored her first Number One with debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” in July, is nominated for New Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. It’s also one of the most positively received country collections in recent memory, critically and also by his peers, so it was no surprise when he was nominated for three CMA Awards Wednesday morning.

While the argument for the latter might be that Shelton didn’t tour that much as he was busy with The Voice, he did tally nods for male vocalist and vocal event. The fact that people like what we recorded and have taken the time to meet me and my wife and still said nice things about us and what we made…” he says before trailing off. “I’m just overwhelmed.” As for the New Artist Category, Stapleton laughs that he might be just a little older than the rest of the his competition. “If they hand that one out according to age, I’ve got it,” he laughed. He’ll face off with reigning Entertainer Luke Bryan, the out-of-retirement Garth Brooks, two-time Entertainer nominee Miranda Lambert and four-time winner Kenny Chesney, with whom Church shared stadium stages this summer. The Kentucky-native is 37, making him seven years older than his closest-in-age fellow nominee Sam Hunt and 18 years older than Tae Dye of Maddie & Tae.

The hit songwriter behind Bryan’s “Drink a Beer” and Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn” released his debut solo album Traveller in May and voters clearly took notice. Stapleton, who, like Sturgill Simpson, has been cast by country purists as a protector of the genre’s traditions, echoes Ballerini’s pursuit of honest music but dismisses any suggestion that today’s honor is somehow a sign that his more rootsy, twangy songs like “Might As Well Get Stoned” and “Whiskey and You” will upend pop-country. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. Brooks and Chesney will likely cancel each other out with the veteran votes, and Bryan and Church being on the same label might split some, though Bryan is still the obvious favorite.

For the eighth consecutive year, Underwood and Brad Paisley will co-host the CMA Awards when it airs live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. Certainly that’s what I’m feeling today.” 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

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