2013 ACM Nominations


After just enough time to catch our breath after the Grammys, this year’s ACM Awards are right around the corner.  The 2013 nominees were announced today, and are presented here with brief commentary from yours truly.  Eric Church leads the pack with seven nominations, followed by Hunter Hayes with six, and Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift with five each.  Please share your thoughts on this year’s nominees in the comments section.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Blake Shelton
  • Taylor Swift

Thoughts:  Luke Bryan’s career momentum culminates in his first Entertainer of the Year nomination, and – in what feels like a historical moment – we have two female solo artists competing in the Entertainer race.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Toby Keith
  • Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Thoughts:  Slim pickings in this category, as usual.  As much as I like Kacey Musgraves, there’s no way a guy could get into the Male Vocalist race on the strength of one Top 20 hit alone.  How about supporting more female artists, country radio?

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Big & Rich
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Love and Theft
  • Sugarland
  • Thompson Square

Thoughts:  Still on board with the argument that the Duo and Group categories should be merged to cut the slack, but wow, this year’s category is almost actually competitive.  Four of these nominees had hits last year, with only Sugarland squeezing in on name recognition.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • The Band Perry
  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Zac Brown Band

New Artist of the Year

  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Jana Kramer

Album of the Year

  • Carrie Underwood, Blown Away
  • Eric Church, Chief
  • Taylor Swift, Red
  • Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines
  • Little Big Town, Tornado

Thoughts:  Is Little Big Town on fire this year or what?  Good to see a well-deserved nomination for Blown Away.  Don’t quite get the rationale for nominating Red.

Single Record of the Year

  • Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
  • Hunter Hayes, “Wanted”

Song of the Year

  • “A Woman Like You” – Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, & Jon Stone (Performed by Lee Brice)
  • “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” – Will Hoge & Eric Paslay (Performed by Eli Young Band)
  • “Over You” – Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton (Performed by Miranda Lambert)
  • “Springsteen” – Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, & Ryan Tyndell (Performed by Eric Church)
  • “Wanted” – Hunter Hayes & Troy Vergas (Performed by Hunter Hayes)

Thoughts:  So fed up with all the over-praise for “Over You.”  Tragic back story or not, a monkey could have written that song.  By the way… where’s “Blown Away”?

Songwriter of the Year

  • Rodney Clawson
  • Dallas Davidson
  • Josh Kear
  • Luke Laird
  • Shane McAnally

Video of the Year

  • Eric Church, “Creepin'”
    Produced by Iris Baker
    Directed by Peter Zavadil
  • Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round”
    Produced by Perry Bean and Kacey Musgraves
    Directed by Perry Bean
  • Little Big Town, “Tornado”
    Produced by Iris Baker
    Directed by Shane Drake
  • Hunter Hayes, “Wanted”
    Produced by Stephanie Reeves & Eric Williams
    Directed by Traci Goudie and Patrick Hubik
  • Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
    Produced by John Nguyen
    Directed by Declan Whitebloom
  • Zac Brown Band, “The Wind”
    Produced by Ben Kalina
    Directed by Mike Judge

Thoughts:  It’s nice to see some love for “Merry Go ‘Round,” but why here instead of in the Song or Single categories?

Vocal Event of the Year

  • Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush”
  • Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Easy”
  • Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, “Feel Like a Rock Star”


  1. I don’t understand how Carrie Underwood isn’t nominated for entertainer of the year. She was the top touring female country artist of 2012 and she only toured half of the year.

  2. Song of the year and “Drinkin’ Man”, “When I’m Gone”, “Neon” and “Cost of Living” all passed over. I guess I shouldn’t be all aghast, but it is still disappointing.

  3. I would have been very surprised if any of those four songs had been nominated, albeit pleasantly so. It seems a song has to at least crack the Top 15 to garner a Song of the Year nomination.

  4. Nice to have two female artist nominated for EOTY but man when neither of those two are the biggest female country artist of the year those two nominations mean nothing!

  5. Why is Carrie Underwood not nominated for Entertainer and ‘Blown Away’ not nominated for single and song? Are they scared of her or something? Frankly, this is getting ridiculous with the CMAs and the ACMs. Goes to show that these awards are very little about recognizing people who actually deserve it and more about record label politics and industry lovefests.

  6. group looks like the strongest category with ZBB, BP & Eli. think i’ve said that before, probably about the cma’s.

    maybe i’m going back to my pop/rock roots. i wouldn’t buy any of the nominated albums but my wife and I have played the Blue Sky Riders debut album “Finally Home” every morning since it arrived in the mail from amazon the end of January.

    single – Eli in a weak field
    song – A Woman Like You

  7. This list is pathetic in so many ways. Why T-Swift? Money and popularity, which is what the ACM is all about. Swift’s songs are either purely pop (“We’re never getting back together”) or banal derivatives from her previous hits.

    Little Bit Town is legitimate. They should win every category they are in. As for Entertainer of the Year, it’s a pathetic list, but clearly it should go to Blake Shelton.

  8. The Carrie snubs really are glaring. I can see the “Blown Away” snub if voters didn’t find it country enough, but it was a big hit at country radio and the ACMs are made up of radio folk so that doesn’t seem likely.

    I would really love to hear any voter explain voting for Miranda in EOTY over Carrie when Carrie had bigger radio hits, bigger album sales, and a bigger tour. She also performed at the Billboard Music Awards and other non-country shows (i.e. bringing mainstream attention to country music).

  9. I can’t believe Kacey Musgraves was beat out by Jana Kramer for New Female Vocalist…Musgraves is a better candidate than Brantley Gilbert and Florida Georgia Line. I guess all the One Tree Hill fans voted for Kramer…

    And how can Musgraves be nominated for Female Vocalist? Seems like there should be a rite of passage…do your time in the New Artist category before moving on to the real deal.

  10. I’d really love to be celebrating the fact that there are two female artists up for Entertainer of the Year except neither one was the top-touring female of 2102, or spent the most weeks at #1 of any country female artist last year. Seriously, the industry politics are just not funny anymore. I realize it doesn’t stop at Underwood, but even Carrie’s detractors are posting things on Twitter and around the web about this oversight.

  11. The Underwood/Lambert situation is especially frustrating when you consider that just a few years ago, Miranda was releasing top-notch material, but Carrie was the one getting all the awards show love. Now Carrie has been releasing the her best material of her career to date, while Miranda is all “Over You” and “Fastest Girl In Town,” and Miranda is the one getting the awards. I don’t get it.

  12. Not that I am a huge Underwood fan by any means, but those snubs wouldn’t have to do with the fact that she is the co-host of the rival CMAs… Right?

    It’s a generally weak field, but since mainstream country music is a generally weak genre, it feels about right. I’m just begging on them to refrain from making this show another Blake-Miranda lovefest, especially with Blake Shelton becoming the Michael Bolton of country music and Miranda Lambert waiting two years to start releasing the kickass songs from her last album.

  13. While I agree with that Ben, Miranda has never out sold or out played Carrie on the radio even those years so I can see why Carrie won then and that too me makes these nominations so weird because once again Miranda can’t come close to Carrie in sales, radio airplay or touring yet continues to get the big nominations over carrie while releasing the worst music of her career

  14. These shows can ambush us with Miranda, Taylor, and Blake all they want, but Carrie is the true ambassador of Country for this generation. The ACMs and CMAs will never show Carrie love at this point, but who cares? Less viewers for them, and I can’t wait to see how far Blake and Luke drag the show down in viewership this year.

  15. I honestly just feel bad for Carrie. The snubs are getting ridiculous. You here her get up in every speech and say how good country music is to her, yet she is constantly overlooked. She stays true to who she is and her music, genuinely loves the genre and doesn’t jump ship when something better comes along. Did Taylor or Miranda even tour last year? I saw the Blown Away tour and it was simply amazing. What a shame.

  16. Well, the powers in Nashville (i.e. Reba, her husband and Big Machine) got all their family in the nominations. Seems country music folks are NOT a big happy family as some of the family are back stabbers to snub Underwood when she had the biggest year of any female during the period. I am a Strait/Jackson fan but I know to do this to Underwood is an insult. Like many others I am tired of Blake (Mr. know it all and ruler) and Miranda (always reminding us what a bad a## she is and both bragging about drinking) winning all the time. What outstanding things have they done to even get a nomination over Underwood? NOTHING. I am tired of their average songs also. Swift—she kicked country to the curb long ago and should not be nominated at all for anything. She conveniently uses country as a label—nothing else. It stinks in Nashville…..

  17. These nominations just make me sad. I’m a Carrie fan – always have been and always will be. I’ve really restrained myself in past years (at least I think I have) when she has been overlooked for acts I felt were less deserving. I’ve tried to see the hypothesis that awards are nothing more than a vehicle by which labels promote artists they feel ‘need’ an extra push – something Carrie obviously doesn’t need. But these snubs are just so over the top as to discount that theory entirely. Their reasoning can’t be because she sounds too ‘pop’, because they seem to be rewarding ‘pop-ish’ country offerings quite a lot in these nominations. We Are Never …. seriously??? I agree with the ‘Cheerios’ comment above. Carrie has done nothing but shout her love for country music, refusing to cross over, and has promoted the country music genre from the get go. She is humble and thankful for everything she has. What better ambassador for country music could you ask for? She was the #1 touring female in 2012, yet no ETOY nomination. She released multiple top-ranked videos, yet no video nomination. She had multiple #1 ranked songs, yet no song or record nomination. What does this woman have to do to get some love? Find a cure for cancer? Solve world hunger? Fix global warming? I’m just disgusted by the whole process.

  18. In terms of Carrie, one can only hope that if there is real coverage of her snub, it will help her come CMAs time. Most of her tour should fall in that eligibility, multiple radio hits, her videos, winning a Grammy (and espousing her love of country), and solid album sales. If she can get some sympathy from being snubbed here, maybe she can finally get an Entertainer nod from the CMAs as well as some other major nods. It is really odd that Taylor Swift made a decidedly non-country album and still got more nods than Carrie.

    Anyway, yeah, the real issue seems to be more this Blake/Miranda thing. What in the world? Why is the industry so desperate to have them? I like them both fine (Miranda in particular), but those two alone cannot keep country music going.

  19. The nominations for the women in EOTY category don’t make much sense. You can’t deny Taylor’s star power even though she didn’t tour in 2012 so I get that one. By every quantitative measure -album sales, number ones, tour sales, downloads – Carrie Underwood has outperformed Miranda in 2012. I am a big Miranda fan but I don’t see the logic?

  20. Sue – But with your logic, Lady Gaga or someone also deserves an EOTY mention. At this point, Swift is much more of a pop star than a country star. In the past year how much impact has she really had within country music?

  21. As usual, the nominations make very little sense.

    Carrie deserved some love for “Blown Away” and “Good Girl,” two of the most interesting songs of the past year. So much for the theory that releasing better material to radio will get her some love. I’m thrilled for the album nomination, though; that’s the one I was hoping for.
    I honestly don’t think either BA or GG was deserving of a video of the year nomination, though, so I’m fine with that.

    The Taylor lovefest is just ridiculous. It’s ironic that the industry beats the ‘country vs pop’ argument into the ground, yet they continue to be hypocritical when awards show season comes around. Even if they don’t feel she deserves to be nominated, it’s disgusting they are willing to overlook more deserving artists once money and politics become involved. On what planet is “Red” considered a country album; it’s a good pop album, and nothing more. And WANEGBT being nominated for anything, let alone song of the year? That’s an insult to the other nominees.

    I’m over the Blake/Miranda lovefest, but thank goodness “Over You” probably cannot be nominated for anything next year. Blake’s nominations in the ETOY category continue to irritate me; when will he do something that proves he’s worthy of being nominated, let alone win? I’m surprised Luke was nominated, but he’s deserving. I love Miranda, but she’s about as deserving as her husband for the ETOY award.

    I’m also baffled RF were snubbed for Vocal Group, but managed to squeeze in Vocal Event. I personally think they were at least active enough to warrant a nomination, especially over Big And Rich, who had ONE hit song this year and have been virtually silent since then. On the topic of random nominations; Toby Keith, really??

    Yay for the LBT love; it’s about time. Hunter seems to be making his way up the ranks; I’m happy for him.

  22. I’m sorry but SOME of Carrie Underwood fans just complain way too much. It’s not all of them but my, my the one’s who complain do it so often and so loudly that it makes it seem like most of her fanbase are full of complainers. Carrie wins a grammy award on Sunday yet they are complaining and going off on “how Taylor didn’t stand up for Carrie’s performance”. Taylor not standing up for Carrie was a huge deal for them even more so then Carrie’s actual win. They weren’t happy enough that Carrie won her first grammy in 3 years yet still Taylor was the center of their attention. Next, Carrie doesn’t get an EOTY nomination. Really, why should she? She’s not doing anything really groundbreaking in country music. Her tours sell well but not huge. She might be the top touring country WOMAN but that doesn’t say much since there really aren’t many women touring in country music so without Taylor touring of course Carrie would be the top touring country woman. For carrie to break ground she’s going to have be the the TOP touring FEMALE in all of music like taylor was able to accomplish with her speak now tour. Out of all the women touring I don’t think Carrie is in the top 3. Taylor was not only the top touring WOMAN IN all of music with her speak now tour but she was also the top touring COUNTRY ACT. Topping all the men. So when you put things in perspective Carrie is doing well but her stats are all exaggerated by her fans. ACM’s and the CMA’s clearly know that.

  23. I am not surprised that Carrie wasn’t nominated for video/song/single.or eoty. the acms is nothing but a joke. all they are for is money and politics, and whom they want awarded. the fvoty carrie won’t get that one either, most likely miranda they are so in love with blake and miranda. they really don’t care if you can sing or carry a tune, as long as you got money to pour into the acms and cmas and cmt you will be nominated.what has country music industry become? gee I wonder if they will ask carrie to perform so they have better ratings. that takes alot of nerve, but I can see acm doing this.well the way that they just did carrie I well n ot be watching this show or any of country shows. I love your music carrie and you have worked so hard this past year and this is how you are rewarded for all your hard work.

  24. Meanwhile, where is the discussion of Sugarland’s nomination? How did they even qualify for eligibility? I am not saying there is another eligible Duo out there, but I would think there is?

  25. It might be good to point out that the ACMs at least did name Underwood Entertainer of the Year twice already, so it’s not like they have snubbed her consistently. And the nonsense about Swift not standing during her performance at the Grammys has been fodder for the gossip sites more than it has for fans above say, the age of 13. I see all this hurting what’s left of the ACMs’ credibility more than it will harm Underwood. She will return to her tour starting tonight, continue to make frequent visits to the Opry, carry the country banner proudly, and do it all with class and distinction. Anything else would shock me based on the way she has always conducted herself. But yeah, you know she has to be hurting over this.

  26. JessNo Gravatar says:
    February 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    How do we know Taylor didn’t stand up for Carrie’s performance? I missed that story.

    There’s photo evidence – you can see the guy to her immediate right standing, and Taylor obviously sitting down while everyone else around her is giving Carrie a standing ovation. They made a huge deal out of Chris Brown doing the same thing for Frank Ocean, but Taylor seems to have slipped under the radar??? I’m not saying she HAD to stand up, but it would have showed some class and maturity.

  27. I am NOT an Underwood fan although I really liked Jesus Take The Wheel and How Great Thou Art and I like her dedication to the Opry (I have attended the Opry too many times to count in my lifetime and seen many artists) and the older artists and the classics. She is a young lady that shows appreciation for the country genre. I am an old fart (Blake’s description) and a Strait/Jackson fan—and if I can see the injustice to Underwood and acknowledge it then more of the unbiased younger fans could also if they cared to open their eyes. Swift not standing up for the Underwood performance when she received a long standing o is disrespectful and rude, not only for Underwood but for the country genre. The picture is over on nashvillegab. In my opinion Underwood brought country music out of the fire at the Grammys after a sad performance by Swift and Lambert and Bentley. Underwood seems to be well liked and respected by all genres—but her own genre of country music. Shame!!!!!

  28. It’s a joke that ‘A Woman Like You’ and ‘Wanted’ got song if the year over:

    ‘Drinkin’ Man’
    ‘So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore’
    ‘Better Than I Used To Be’
    ‘Blown Away’
    ‘That’s Why I Pray’

    Nice to see recognition for Church, LBT and Bryan.

    Not impressed overall.

  29. The things that stood out glaringly for me in the nominations is
    1. How did Martina score a FVY nom when she didn’t have a hit, or record anything out in 2012. What about some other upcoming females getting hits or in the top 10 this year?
    2. Entertainer..yeah no Carrie but Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw had the biggest grossing tour of the year.

    I feel that the Nashville power Sony that has changed hands is leaving Carrie, Brad, and Kenny in the dust.

  30. @Ben F
    The Underwood/Lambert situation is especially frustrating when you consider that just a few years ago, Miranda was releasing top-notch material, but Carrie was the one getting all the awards show love.

    Carrie last won Female Vocalist Of The Year at the 2008 CMAs/2009 ACMs, when she had Just A Dream and I Told You So going for her. Miranda’s Gunpowder & Lead was awesome but it wasn’t some huge travesty that the awards went Carrie’s way due to bigger sales. When Carrie released uninspired crap like Undo It, she wasn’t winning awards. Unfortunately Blake and Miranda can release uninspired crap like Over You and Over/Drink On It and count on Vocalist wins and Entertainer nominations/wins.

    At no point during Carrie’s big awards reign was she being overrewarded with Entertainer nominations (her sole ACM Entertainer nods came after her 2nd headlining tour, and the 2nd of those came when she stopped winning Female Vocalist).

    @Sam G
    Not that I am a huge Underwood fan by any means, but those snubs wouldn’t have to do with the fact that she is the co-host of the rival CMAs… Right?

    No. The CMAs started snubbing her for awards first, in 2010 ;) There’s no reason to expect this year’s CMAs to be any different.

    Miranda Lambert waiting two years to start releasing the kickass songs from her last album.
    Especially when the kickass song in question is performed better by the cowriter of the song.


    In terms of Carrie, one can only hope that if there is real coverage of her snub, it will help her come CMAs time.

    No, it won’t. There was mainstream media coverage when Carrie did not receive a 2010 CMA Entertainer nomination but at this point I think the snubs are just expected. I don’t expect anything to change unless Carrie decides she wants her team to spend money to mount the kind of campaign Taylor Swift’s team puts together (I’ve heard Blake Shelton’s people griping about how difficult it is to compete with Taylor’s million dollar awards campaigns). And if that’s what it’s gonna take…then what’s the point?

    Awards are nice but let’s be honest, they don’t necessarily honor the best and that was as true 5 years ago and 15 years ago and 25 years ago as it is today. Maybe Carrie fans should just enjoy the success of her current album and tour. She’s getting better blog buzz now among non-stans than she used to, that’s improvement right there! I can see that trend continuing too if she releases Do You Think About Me next instead of the Just.No One Way Ticket!

  31. Oh if we’re keeping track of who was standing for whom (does it really matter?) can we note Eric most certainly did stand and clap for Carrie at the Grammys when she won her award :)

    People can say what they want about Eric after his Rolling Stone comments but he never dissed people like Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, or Carrie Underwood even though Miranda took it upon herself to be offended. He was talking about Blake being a judge and letting his celebrity overwhelm his music. Which Eric has proven to be 1000% right about.

    I’m happy for Eric’s nominations, at least we know he didn’t do it by kissing up to Blake and Miranda and their whole group! I’m sure his label helped though. But to be honest Eric should’ve been nominated for Entertainer instead of Luke. Unlike Luke Eric headlined all year, and he pulled in big big total numbers, among the tops in the genre behind Tim/Kenny and Jason.

    Creepin is IMO the best video of the year and so I was really glad to see it nominated.

    Over You is beyond overrated. I’m so glad the ACMs are the last awards show where it can be nominated. I really hope somebody can take it down this year but I’m not hopeful seeing as Springsteen couldn’t do it at the CMAs. Wanted being nominated for Single Of The Year I can somewhat understand even though it’s not my thing. But Song? If we can nominate Merry Go Round for video why couldn’t we nominate Merry Go Round for Song? I’d trade Merry Go Round, Blown Away, and Better Dig Two for Wanted, Over You, and A Woman Like You.

    Florida-Georgia Line is probably going to win the ACM for Vocal Duo *barf*

    I really thought with even country radio holding back the reins on its Taylor love that the rest of the industry would follow suit but I guess there’s nothing like a huge campaign to postpone the inevitable. Red has no business being nominated as a country album and it’s embarrassing that We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is nominated for anything, even video.

  32. @Shiela

    Carrie’s not doing anything groudbreaking in Country music? You should really think about what you post before you actually do, and you should really reevaluate your ridiculous bias towards Taylor and against Carrie because you know you’ll just spawn an argument.

    First, this is the very first I’ve ever heard of the standing ovation debacle regarding Taylor not standing for Carrie. You mentioned that Carrie fans were more up in arms over that than Carrie’s actual win, but you couldn’t be any more wrong (well, actually, you could, and are, but I’ll address that in a second). I’m a part of numerous music forums across the internet that represent all genres and there wasn’t a single mention of Taylor not standing in any of the threads regarding Carrie or the show itself. Every fan was so honed in on Carrie’s win and “Blown Away”‘s writers winning Best Country Song.
    Secondly, touring is only a portion of what makes an EOTY nominee worthy. Chart success, sales, cultural impact, vocal performances, philanthropy, and overall representation of the Country music genre is included. Chart success, Carrie scored 2 more #1s and a single that’s climbing to the penthouse within the charting period. Those 2 #1 singles, “Good Girl” and “Blown Away”, have gone Platinum (BA is a couple of sales weeks away from 2x Platinum, actually) and BA won the Grammy for Best Country Song and Country Solo Vocal Performance. The album “Blown Away” debuted and stayed atop at #1 on the Billboard 200 for 2 weeks and atop the Country Albums chart for 7 non-consecutive weeks, which is even more impressive than it staying at #1 consecutively because it shows that sales continue to hit spiking points. It’s her most critically-acclaimed album to date, the sales average for her “Blown Away Tour” has gone up nearly $200,000 in comparison to the “Play On Tour”, she toured internationally in Australia and the United Kingdom, and she was cast as Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” remake for December 2013. On top of that, she co-hosted the CMAs again, she collaborated with Aerosmith on their new album, she’s donating more of her tour revenue to charities with every ticket sold, she gave the community of Atlantic City, New Jersey the full $561,992 she made during the show in support of Hurricane Sandy relief, won two CMT Music Awards (including the Video of the Year award), 2 American Country Awards, and the American Music Award for her “Blown Away” album for Best Country Album, making her the only artist to win an album award for every album she’s ever released.

    I don’t see how that doesn’t equate to Entertainer of the Year when Luke Bryan can’t compare to any of that, and even Taylor Swift was on hiatus for a solid 4-5 month portion of the eligibility period whilst Carrie was on the clock year-round.

  33. @Ginny you’re very welcome! I like doing these write-ups because it really helps put a great perspective on what Carrie has done within 2012, and what she’s done is more than worthy of an EOTY nomination; it’s worthy of the win.

  34. Honestly, I think I’m more baffled at no Music Video of The Year nomination for Blown Away. The video was visually stunning and above and beyond all other videos that were actually nominated in the category.

    With that being said, I just don’t know anymore. I honestly was hopefully this morning for a broad array of nominations this morning. I thought for sure Carrie and LBT would dominate. I wasn’t surprised with Eric’s nominations, they were well deserved, but as for the EOTY nominees and some of the Song/Single Record nominations, I don’t really have words.

    What’s sad to me is the fact that Taylor put out a mainstream marketed Pop album and is one of the leading nominees for ACMs. What gives? What’s even more sad is that unless everyone decides together to vote for one other nominee for EOTY her tween fans will have this in the bag for her, again.

    I realized that I have plans on ACM night and I’m not so sure I’ll even bother DVRing the show. I’ll catch up on my Twitter feed that night and see how the night went.

  35. Jonathan. I learned long ago it is all about power and money in Nashville. The power now seems to be Reba, her husband and that gang and Big Machine. I am certain that is what has been happening the last 2 or 3 years big time. I may be old but I am not ignorant. The unfairness to the Underwood girl is uncalled for. However, I do believe that she will handle it all with dignity and grace that she always has done in the past.

  36. I’m surprised Red got in Album considering how not country it is, but I can’t believe Chief is in Album for the second year in a row. How does that work? I like the album, but for that to get in again while Zac Brown Band was snubbed seems odd.

  37. Poorest set of nominees this year. The politics and bloc-voting in Nashville couldn’t get any more blatant. Total snubs for Album of the Year for Zac Brown Band’s “Uncaged” and Jason Aldean’s “Night Train,” while POP album “Red” makes the cut for COUNTRY Album of the Year. Seriously, Mumford & Sons “Babel” and John Mayer’s “Born and Raised” are way countrier than Red. This is beyond pitifully laughable. And don’t get me started on the EOTY nominations! :(

  38. I just hope these snubs will push Carrie Underwood further to create better albums. I know she works hard for her fans. I hope she works even harder to be recognized. Although I don’t know how she can even work harder when she has already done almost everything to date without any scandals.

  39. Pretty damn embarrassing that “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore” wasn’t nominated for Song of the Year, and drivel like “A Woman Like You” is in the category. In Lee Brice’s limited catalog, it’s his third-best single in my humble opinion. Shaking my head and will ignore this award show, like normal.

  40. You need to get over yourself with the “Over You” stuff Ben. It comes off as stupid and petty. The song resonates with people and resonated on country radio and was a comfort to many people which at its heart is what country music has always has been. It may not be great to you or others (and I don’t think it is her best song) but when something connects like that it is gonna win awards.

    And if a monkey can write a song like that let’s see you do it.

  41. Brian, I maintain my stance that “Over You” is by all accounts – including lyrics, melody, and construction – a case of supremely awful songwriting, and that to reward such a level of work is nothing short of laughable. You don’t have to agree with me on that, but I would welcome an elaboration on how exactly I need to get over myself, and on what aspects of my opinions or comments comes across as “stupid and petty.”

  42. I can’t BELIEVE to see that,once again, Justin Moore has been passed over for freakin LUKE BRIAN!!! Justins music is cutting edge, hes resurrecting the outlaw movement along with Jamey johnston and Love and theft, not to mention he had a HUGE hit recently with TMLD! meanwhile LOOGIE Bryen just recycles the same backwoods hick shtick over and OVER again. The “You got your hands up” line was inspired by a hip-hop songs! yeah, THAT’S country..

    mark my words, its all because of the notorious (but MYSTERIOSLY unpublicated…!!) feud between the Breyen family and the Moore family. both guys played at a county fair in NC and things were fine until Justins aunt Dana accidentally spilled BBQ on Lukes newborn baby (NOT her fault! she has a tremor from oldness!!). anyway some BBQ got in the babys eye and it took like 10 minutes to find a Visine that worked and now the Brain family is FURIOS with the Moore family and since they have more power in Nashville theyve blocked Justin from nominations every step of the way!!! hes had to fight tooth-and-david-nail (LOL) just to make it this far! meanwhile luke the golden boy just keeps going up and up…… we all see what’s going on, here, Breyers®!!!!!!

  43. I’m with the Over You is way overrated group. I’m a Miranda fan. She has done some brilliant work but this song just doesn’t fit in the category for me. The first few times I heard it I did t know the back story and I though it a very average song. I am completely convinced that without the backstory it wouldnt be getting much recognition, let alone the love fest.

  44. Don’t be a snob Matt. I bet youre Luke’s dog-walker or something and just upset bc I’ve spoken the TRUTH of y’all’s petty BBQ grudge!! out, damned mole! out, I say!

  45. Tony, that article about Taylor not standing up for Carrie’s performance might have been on nashvillegab.com but the whole thing originated by carrie underwood fans. They are so obsessed with Taylor that they follow her every move including finding silly photos, circling them in red then writing negative articles hoping that everyone picks it up. The original article about taylor not standing up was written by a carrie underwood fan. Point is, these people complain no matter WHAT. Had Carrie been the most nominated artist they’d still complain. So she may as well be snubbed as her fans aren’t happy either way, complaints always go back to Taylor Swift. They will FIND something to complain about her (case in point the picture that THEY FOUND and circulated).

    Last year Taylor got a standing ovation for Mean and also won Country Song and Perfomance grammy awards (for a song solely written and performed by HER). How do we know Carrie stood for Taylor? For all we know Carrie did NOT stand for her but of course no one will ever know because Taylor Swift fans don’t have that kind of obsession with Carrie like they have with Taylor.

    I am sure if Taylor had fans obsessed with Carrie that someone could have found a picture of Carrie sitting in shock that Taylor got a standing ovation for mean, written an article and made it much bigger then it should have been.

    I’m just saying I think people are getting tired of most of her fans.

  46. @Shiela

    You know that you sound stupid rather than informative, right? Nobody knows that Taylor not standing originated from a Carrie fan, and until you can show us all proof, you’re just starting a Taylor/Carrie war, and we clearly know which side you’re on.

    It doesn’t matter if there was one article on Taylor not standing or a million articles; Taylor didn’t stand while everyone else on that floor did, and it was televised, so don’t think that Carrie fans mentioning something was the reason it blew up. Anyone could’ve, and probably did, see it because the camera flashed directly over the audience and Taylor was vivid in white as she sat in her chair while everyone else gave Carrie a standing ovation.

    Seems like you’re just getting defensive because you know that the Carrie fans are right. Nobody’s outraged; you’re just trying to brew some drama.

  47. I’d also like to add that both Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift (Miranda too, for that matter…see her CMA FVoY speech) present themselves as classy, respectful people, so I’m sure that they’d really like for their fans to display the same level of decorum, as they indirectly represent them. It really is possible to be an outspoken fan of somebody without degrading others, though this thread (and others) sure makes it seem like it’s not.

  48. Most of the nominees didn’t put out their best material this year. Blake’s been coasting ever since he got on “the voice.” Carrie’s songs, while interesting, are her most pop influenced yet. Eli young band lost some of their uniqueness during their breakthrough. And the success of “pontoon” baffles me. I feel like the acm’s are trying to make up for nominations not given in the past.

  49. OK … here goes nothing. I am a Carrie Underwood fan – always have been, always will be. I also love Garth, Trisha, George, Alan, Reba, Faith, Tim, Martina, Kenny, Allison, Vince and many other country artists. I don’t care much for Taylor Swift’s music. I’m sure she’s an ok person, although I think she could use some maturity. I believe she is a creation of Big Machine and they have, through their actions, somehow communicated to her that she can do no wrong. I believe she has it in her head that anyone who tells her she’s not the greatest or the ‘kewlest’ is somehow a ‘hater’ (and her fans feel likewise). I think Big Machine has pimped her to her own detriment, but I digress. Carrie Underwood fans are NOT ‘obsessed’ with Taylor Swift. It’s kind of hard to be considered obsessed with someone who is jammed down your throat on a regular basis, to what appears to be the exclusion of all other artists (and not just Carrie). I go on CMT and routinely there are multiple stories about Taylor on their homepage running at the same time. The girl can’t break wind without it being a headline. What she’s wearing – who she’s going out with – what she’s doing for Valentine’s Day, etc. Hell, Connor Kennedy got arrested at the White House yesterday and the headline was ‘Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriend …”. Seriously?

    Now before I get totally OT, let’s get back to the nominations. In my opinion (which seems to be shared by quite a few), Carrie was overlooked for a number of nominations that went to Taylor for Red (more pop than country) and for WANEGBT (completely pop). It rankles that someone (Carrie) who loves country music so much and shouts it to the rooftops is overlooked for someone who frankly doesn’t appear to care one way or another which genre they put her in as long as she’s the headline and she makes money for her label. Are people getting tired of Carrie fans? I don’t think so. I think it’s more that people are getting tired of Taylor Swift’s nonstop media blitz, string of boyfriends, lackluster performances, songwriting and narcissism. Carrie won a Grammy for Blown Away, which also won a Grammy for songwriting. That this song and performance didn’t get a song or record nomination speaks volumes. It tells me that the Grammys are impervious to the political nature of the ACM and CMA nominations, and they WILL award the most deserving (naive maybe, but that’s how I feel). For the song and record that won the Grammy to not even be NOMINATED is reprehensible and, as far as I’m concerned, an insult to Carrie and the songwriters. That’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  50. While a Grammy is generally considered music’s highest stamp of approval, some country artists would disagree. Competition comes in the form of the genre-centric CMA Awards, ACMs, CMT Awards and ACAs. The latter three all include some sort of fan voting, rather than industry. So which is more prestigious: an honor from music industry folks or from the fans? That’s a heated debate that has been going on for years, with strong arguments on both sides of the fence.

    The Zac Brown Band’s Clay Cook, while grateful for his band’s ongoing recognition at all of the country awards shows, is partial to the Grammy voters. He explained backstage at Sunday’s show, just after ZBB’s win for Country Album of the Year for Uncaged. “This is the pinnacle of our genre and honestly I don’t think any of use thought we stood a chance against [Miranda Lambert],” he admitted. “Normally, in all of the country awards shows that we go to, we end up going zero. We were up for 60 awards and I think we won like four or something, because we’re not really a part of the politics or the cliques in Nashville. There’s a lot of vote trading and all sorts of stuff going on. That’s what makes me think higher of the Recording Academy because I feel like people are voting with their real conscience.”

    Criticism of voting practices among the country shows is nothing new. While it has been long-rumored that music companies — who receive a large number of votes due to their membership size — manipulate the results, there has been disapproval of having fan-voted awards as well. In 2008, after being named Entertainer of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, Kenny Chesney voiced his objection to the organization’s choice to make the category fan-voted.

    “I think it’s a complete disrespect of the artist — what they’ve lowered us to, to get entertainer of the year,” he said in the pressroom. “Because of that, it really diminishes the integrity of the music that we’re making and how much work goes into it. That’s what really matters. That’s what Entertainer of the Year really is. It’s not about flying somebody to some shows and giving free songs away — and giving this and that — and seeing how hard you can push people’s buttons on the Internet. As much as I love the ACMs and what they’ve done for my life, that’s how I really feel about it.. And I can say that because I won tonight.”

    The ACM Entertainer of the Year title is still fan-voted, as is the Academy’s New Artist honors.

    What do you think? Are the Grammys more prestigious because talent is awarded over popularity? Are fan-voted awards unfair? Take our poll below.

  51. Ben- I say that because you have been on the case of that song ever since it came out. Everytime someone praises it or it wins an award you have comments about it. We get it- you don’t like the song. Perhaps you need to just accept that it resonates for people and not specifically you.

    The constant harping on the song is what makes it come off petty and stupid. And snide comments like “any monkey could write a song like that” is incredibly condescending to not just the songwriters but to those that love the song and feel like it is written in a way that connects to them.

  52. My man Chris Young got snubbed BIG TIME..once again! and why isn’t Carrie Underwood nominated for EOTY?! She should have gotten it given the HUGE amount of commercial and critical success her ‘Blown Away’ album was and how much touring she has done for the past year. And why is Martina even nominated for FVOTY? If Kacey Musgraves even gotten a nod, then Jana Kramer should have gotten one too! EYB song ‘Even if it breaks your heart’ is an old song already! Last I rmbed, it has a gotten lots of nominations for past year awards, they should have remove that song and let new songs to be included and have a chance to be in song and single category! Boring!

  53. In my opinion, the LACK of an almost obligatory standing ovation seems to say more than actually receiving one at these award shows. The audience was pretty muted after Dierks and Miranda’s duet. Only the country folks stood and applauded. This was not just my observation–someone from inside the house reported it. Ouch.

  54. On a side note about @Diamond talking about the Grammys country performance, I felt that the performance was downright flat and boring. Dierks never sounded more off tune and low in his voice and Miranda was just pitchy as usual. It’s like I couldn’t hear what they were singing. That’s what you get for combining 2 boring songs together! Sad :( cos I’m a huge fan of Dierks and Miranda.

    Back to the ACM nominations, I was looking thrgh the ACM Vocal event nominations, why is Rascal Flatts with Natasha Bedingfield Easy even nominated?? Isn’t that song released like 3 years ago in 2010? Even way before Brad and Carrie Remind Me which has even gotten nominations last yr already? This is a joke and it’s like they put it in there just for the sake of filling up a slot given how little nominees are there for vocal events. OR are the ACMS putting them in just for Big Machine Records face and their domination!? Last I checked their album where this song was included, Rascal Flatts were already Big Machine records label people! :P Don’t get me wrong here I LOVE Rascal Flatt for a long time. Their recent release and radio singles have been regular and top notch quality (I love their new song ‘Changed’! I think it’s a similar but new sound from them.) Then why aren’t they even nominated for Vocal Grp? They had so much presence on radio and on tour last yr! They SHOULD HAVE been nominated for Vocal Grp and kicked Lady A out, who have been releasing boring and sad singles. But to see them nominated for a song released 3 years ago, that’s laughingly silly!

  55. @Markus oops sorry my bad. It was released to radio in mid 2011..but still it was released together with their ‘Nothing like This’ album in late 2010. That’s when I first rmbed listening to it. and since then, Rascal Flatts have 3 new singles!

  56. I think fan voted Entertainer of the Year nods are fine as long as the CMA’s don’t do it. But I can understand, Kenny’s remarks. Some younger artists have the majority of their fans doing the voting on the internet, figuring out ways to get two votes, and spreading the “word to vote” like wild fire. While, a lot of Kenny’s fans may listen to country radio, go to concerts, and buy records. A large amount may vote online but a large older contingency doesn’t particularly trust the internet. Also, I wish the ACM’s truly represented Country air play this past year in their choices.

  57. Brian, I don’t feel I’ve been going out of my way to ‘harp’ on “Over You.” Obviously I did express my thought on it when I first reviewed the song over a year ago, and have occasionally reiterated such thoughts when relevant to the discussion – such as when the song is receiving nominations and wins at awards shows we routinely cover at Country Universe.

    I know the song was a big hit, and has obviously resonated with many, but I also know that I’m hardly alone in feeling that it represents a career-worst effort for Miranda Lambert. Other listeners have expressed similar thoughts on the song, including other members of the Country Universe staff. My above comment that “a monkey could have written that song” is a very forthright and direct expression of my opinion on the song, but it refers only to the song itself, so it’s not something to be taken personally by either the songwriters or consumers.

    Regardless of which side of the debate we’re on, I think we can all be tolerant of the opinions of others.

  58. For the record (no pun intended), I’m not a fan of “Over You.” Without the backstory, there’s nothing intriguing about it for me. I think my least favorite song that Miranda has recorded, however, is “Love Song.” I always thought it’d be a single and am still surprised that it wasn’t ever released as one.

  59. I think including fan votes in the EOTY category would be fine if there was a way to reliably limit people to one vote or even one vote per day. I’m not sure how the voting process works but allowing ballot box stuffing with teenagers or record company interns obsessively hitting links on their phones all day long is silly.

    On the EOTY category it seems that the criteria in people’s minds has drastically changed. It used to be thought of as primarily an award for the biggest touring acts. Neither Blake nor Taylor toured much in 2011 and Blake didn’t even do earth shattering levels in the way of sales or radio airplay. One certainly can’t deny their exposure level so I guess that is the criteria being used by the voters now.

  60. First, I apologize for coming off as rude towards Shiela. It won’t happen again.

    Second, I agree with Mary 100%. Look, I’m a Carrie fan. I don’t keep that a secret. However, I will absolutely discredit her if deemed necessary (I still vocalize to this very day that her “Play On” album is a weak effort and releasing “Undo It” and “Mama’s Song” were two huge mistakes), and in this scenario for the ACMs, she just doesn’t deserve to be discredited — by anyone. Carrie’s been one of the top 3 to 5 biggest forces in Country this past year when you put all of the statistics up against each other. Her exclusions from Entertainer, Song, Single, and even Video (if WANEGBT is in that category, then “Blown Away” surely should’ve been included based on the criteria they used to nominate Taylor’s video) are individually embarrassing on the academy’s part and a massive slap towards Carrie Underwood. As several have pointed out, she screams from every stage she’s on and every step she takes that Country music is her life and passion. Even at the Grammys press conference after she won her award (baffling that “Blown Away” can win two Grammys, including Country Song of the Year, but not get a single nomination from the ACMs — same scenario for ZBB’s AOTY snub), she addressed a question in regards to her stance on releasing a pop album. She credited the great artists and music released to pop, but noted that she would never release one. She sticks to Country and Gospel/faith-based music (which she’s incorporated into her albums — “Temporary Home”, “Who Are You”, the inevitable “Jesus Take the Wheel”, etc.) and anything of hers that gets to Pop radio solely crosses over itself.
    In retrospect to that, when was the last time Taylor Swift ever claimed that Country music was her backbone to music or the air she breathes? I don’t seem to recall any comment of hers towards that, and yet she gets overwhelming amounts of praise and honors.

    I’m not trying to stir any Taylor/Carrie controversy; I’m just pointing out that nominating Taylor Swift in several categories for her “Red” era over Carrie Underwood’s 2 nominations for her “Blown Away” era is pretty shocking — probably even more shocking than Carrie’s snub from the 2010 CMAs and 2011 ACMs after her indescribably large year from her “Play On” era.

  61. Not to throw fuel on the fire, but has Swift said anything publicly about “Feud-Gate” with Underwood? I saw Carrie on CBS saying there was nothing to it as far as she knows…but have not seen a single quote from Swift, which is kind of interesting. For that matter, has a legitimate journalism source even asked Taylor to comment? I thought Underwood was sincere and honest in her response, and have no reason to believe Taylor would not be the same, but maybe she is too big to even ask?

  62. I’m late to this thread, but love this site and love reading the comments.

    First of all, I think that there is an incredible backlash as of late towards Miranda and Blake. While Miranda’s last album may not be her best, it’s not terrible. People keep writing about her as if she’s absolutely undeserving of recognition. She’s not awful. Like her or not, she’s a very respectable artist. Also her work with Pistol Annies was one of the most critically acclaimed outings/side projects in recent memory in any genre.

    Blake Shelton is very much EOTY material. We have to remember that award is not based on musical quality. I think Blake is a lot like Mel Tillis or Roy Clark in terms of his impact. A television personality and a singer.

    Also, Carrie Underwood is not underrated. She is a superstar who has gotten tons of awards and attention from the start. I think that she was overly recognized too early on, and that may be why her fans feel that she is overlooked now. Her career trajectory is unique. Because of American Idol, she entered the country music world at the top. She did not work her way up in the traditional way that other artists do. That’s no fault of hers. It’s just the way her career got jump started. That might mean that personal connections to voters are different than those who work with tons of people on their way up. I think she will win this year and that her album will also win. Just because she doesn’t win everything all the time ever year does not mean she is being overlooked. She will win this year.

    The choices for New Artist were picked by fans. Jana Kramer was voted for over Sunny Sweeney and Kacey Musgraves. I don’t think Jana Kramer is going to have staying power.

    I have new respect for Taylor Swift and the way that she has stayed in the game and has turned herself into somewhat of a critically accepted artist. Gotta give her credit for her songwriting at such an early age. I mean, who else has written so many hit songs at that age? BUT she is not a country artist. I like all kinds of music, but while watching the Grammys, I kept wondering why she is even on the country charts.

    The female vocalist thing is interesting. Usually artists win several years in a row, then never win it again. (Once again, I think Carrie will win this year). Then the torch is passed.

    It’s funny how the industry and to some extent, maybe the public, feel that there can only be one female superstar at any given time. Otherwise, if there are a few, then the competitive narratives start to form.

    For example, it was Carrie, now Miranda with Kacey Musgraves waiting in the wings. Like an episode of Nashville…

  63. My only gripe is why did the ACM’s become as political as the CMAs? ACM’s was the ugly sister to awards as I thought it was chosen by Country radio. So again, as the biggest country female grossing tour, including performances in Austrailia and Great Britain, Carrie and her multiple TV, Magazines, Commercials should have been enough. Kenny Chesney/Tim Mcgraw tour was the biggest tour last year..and no nominations. Martin, your views on Carrie are interesting. Makes me wonder that they are making her “pay her dues” now even though her latest album was finally critically acclaimed. I don’t think it’s a guarantee she will get FVOY or Blown Away will win as album. I agree though that the big powers in Nashville currently are the Reba group and Big Machine and Sony Nashville is floundering in the wind.

  64. Martin Hyatt

    “Because of American Idol,she entered the country music world at the top”

    If Carrie had not made such an amazing recording of Jesus Take the Wheel and had it go to #1 for 6 weeks and win Grammys, then followed it with a release down the road with Before He Cheats which went to #1 for 5 weeks and won Grammys, I think she would be like alot of females in country , trying to get a foot in the door.American Idol did not give her those Grammys, all she got for winning was a chance to make an album. It was because Carrie came out of the gate with hit material and it gave her a chance to make it big. With her talent and knowledge of music, she knows how to write and sing a hit song. There are plenty from American Idol who have faded away and lost their record contract. Carrie’s rise has been based on talent and it still is.

    It is sad that the award shows can’t be a reflection of what is super great in country music during the year and has to be caught up in behind the scene shenanigans, it would be so much more of a rewarding show for the artists and the fans to really celebrate the music and not be a showcase for what label or person can pull strings the hardest for their artists. Kind of negates the whole idea of awards and award shows.

  65. @Martin Hyatt

    Winning American Idol does not guarantee anything. It was pure hard work of Carrie and her team that put her where she is right now. There are 11 American Idol winners already, how many of them were success stories? Enough of this paying your dues thing. It’s really silly.

  66. I find it interesting to hear people say hat EOTY is not based on musical quality. Does it make any sense at all that country music’s highest award not be based on the quality of the music? As for the backlash against Miranda and Blake. I personally like both of them, especially Miranda. I havent heard anybody say they are terrible or completely undeserving. I have heard that the love fest and showering of numerous awards is a little hard to justify by either their numbers or the quality of their latest efforts. Blake did have two number ones last year and I give him credit for that but so did several other artists. I believe Miranda only had one number one last year although she did have another top five. I don’t think numbers should be the sole criteria for awards but one would think they would factor into the equation. You can’t deny their visibility and star power but that gets back to the question of should that be what it is all about?

  67. I really don’t get this Carrie vs. Taylor thing. Like what you want to like and buy want you want to buy. That being said, while neither has recorded much country music in the past few years I do have to give props to Carrie as I do feel she respects the country genre and its history. I feel Taylor, for the most part, has very little respect for country and only uses it to sell to a larger audience. She is an average pop singer who without a doubt in my mind does not now, or really, never has been a fan to the country industry. Family and executives just used country as a marketing ploy for her. Its been done before but country radion and country fans never seem to catch on to that. I have nothing against Taylor but do get irritated when the country genre that I grew up with is used for the sole perpose of money and fame.

  68. Carrie Underwood is definitely being snubbed. She should have been nominated for Entertainer of the year & single. I just hope this doesn’t get to her & that she realizes how her fans love her!

  69. These award shows have never been based on stats…just popularity it seems! Being a HUGE fan of Rascal Flatts over the years ive been very upset that they have been snubbed out of the Group of the year category for the past 3 years in all the major award shows…they are no more mainstream than Taylor who still seems to get nominated…

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