ACM Top New Artist Winners

header_acm-awards1The winners have been announced for three of the Top New Artist categories at this year’s ACM Awards:

  • Top New Male Vocalist: Jake Owen
  • Top New Female Vocalist: Julianne Hough
  • Top New Vocal Duo or Group: Zac Brown Band

Jake Owen’s victory is something of an upset, as he was nominated against James Otto and Jamey Johnson, two men who received multiple Grammy nominations. Johnson still has a shot at some ACM awards this year, as he’s nominated in three other categories: Single, Song and Album of the Year. Owen is nominated for Vocal Event for his part in Sugarland’s multi-artist “Life in a Northern Town.”

Julianne Hough was chosen over Sarah Buxton and Ashton Shepherd, while Zac Brown Band won over the Eli Young Band and the Lost Trailers.

Owen, Hough and Zac Brown Band will compete for the Top New Artist award during the three-hour telecast on Sunday, April 5. We’ll be live-blogging, of course. Look for our predictions and personal picks later this week.


  1. I was pretty much expecting these victors given that it was all fan-voted. Jamey Johnson and Ashton Shepherd probably appeal more to an older fanbase who wouldn’t have heard about the fan-voting. Zac Brown Band probably does, too, but they have such strong grassroots support and they’re more recognizable to casual fans than the Trailers or Eli Young Band.

  2. Nothing surprises me when fans are the ones voting. It becomes a popularity contest and despite having the #1 single and a popular album, Otto and Johnson don’t compare to the rabid voting base that Owen seemingly has. Ditto for Buxton and Shepherd.

    It’s pretty obvious, though, that Hough or the ZBB will win the overall award.

  3. If the ACM wanted to get fans more involved, why not have one fan-voted category — Fans’ Choice of the Year or something like that — and leave the other categories alone? Letting the fans vote for Best New Artist and Entertainer of the Year seriously cheapens and devalues the integrity of the awards.

  4. Yup, Razor, I agree. I can’t even take this award seriously. I can’t believe they added this after the Entertainer debacle last year.

  5. I am disturbed that Julianne’s teen fanatics from her dancing show have obviously made this into a popularity contest and forgotten that this should be about talent. How can a girl who is barely a singer, who gets no airplay for her songs, and who is more known for her scandalous private life than her music be the best new female artist? It is a disgrace to country music and as a long time country fan I just pray this this prentender does not become the Best New Artist.

  6. I don’t want to turn this into Nashville Gab or one of those sites, and I could have missed it, but other than dating Chick Wicks, what is Julianne’s scandal?

  7. Jamey Johnson/Ashton Shepherd should have won “New Artist” categories.

    Ashton is phenomenal and is the only singer who sings country the way it should be sung.

  8. I think regardless of the outcome, they will continue to have the fan voted categories if it brings in the viewers, same reason why they added Hannah/Miley as a performer. All kids under the age of 13 in Americal will stay up and watch. As will all the people who voted. It is all about the ratings

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