Our singles list concludes with strong entries from new artists, established superstars, and alternative country stalwarts.
“Heartbeat” has been stuck in my head for days, which isn’t surprising, really. It has a solid hook that Underwood delivers with charm and sincerity, two qualities that I always find abundant in her work.
It’s a beautiful song, too. Romantic, heartfelt, and chock full of the specific details that make a song with a well-tread theme sound fresh and interesting.
Country music is well represented in the major categories – numerically, at least – and the overall nominee list proves once again that NARAS voters have the widest, most diverse, and yes, best taste of all industry award voters.
Here are this year’s nominees in the big four and all country and country-related categories. It’s worth noting that because Miranda Lambert won Best Country Album last year for Platinum, nothing from that set was eligible in any of the Country categories.
The 49th Annual Country Music Association Awards will be handed out on Wednesday, November 4. Once again, the ceremony is hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
Here are the personal picks and predictions from the Country Universe staff.
Since Country Universe launched eleven years ago, there have only been a handful of new country artists that I’ve truly enjoyed. Out of all of them, there hasn’t been another artist I’ve consistently enjoyed as much as Carrie Underwood.
It’s been 10 years this month since Carrie Underwood released “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” a song that would define her early on as a wholesome, powerhouse vocalist with mass appeal. It was a fitting label at the time, but it fell short of what I knew her to be: a deeply emotive artist who understood humanity.
Throughout 2015, there have been rumblings of a backlash against the prevailing trends at country radio, and that backlash is certainly reflected in the year’s crop of CMA nominees.