Brandy Clark Sees CMA Dream Come True

New Artist of the Year Nomination Brings Songwriters to the Spotlight

Brandy Clark has to be one happy girl right now.

On Wednesday morning (Sept. 3), Clark got the great news that she’d scored not just one — but two nominations at this year’s CMA Awards. Her first CMA nomination as an artist is a big moment.

In addition to her second songwriter’s nomination with Kacey Musgraves and Shane McAnally for song of the year — this time for Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” — Clark is one of the names in the hat for the CMA’s new artist of the year award, thanks to 12 Stories, her widely-praised debut album.

“I’ve watched the CMA Awards every year for as long as I can remember,” she said. “To be a nominee in both song and new artist is truly a thrill and a dream come true.”

Aside from being a dream come true for Clark, her new artist nomination is perhaps a huge breakthrough for singer-songwriters. Sure, their hard-earned successes are lauded with praise and plaques by peers in Nashville, but songwriters seldom receive the level of recognition and love they deserve in the mainstream scheme of things.

After all, they are where the magic really begins. Whether it’s the artists themselves doing the writing or a talent who wishes to remain behind the scenes, without the songsmith, we’d have no music at all.

This is why nominations like Clark’s nod for new artist — and Musgraves’ win last year in the same category — are a beautiful thing. It’s a way to shine a light on the magnitude of talent and mass appeal that exists within these incredibly gifted writers.

You don’t need to be a great writer to be a great artist. You don’t need to be an artist to be a great writer. But it’s possible to be both, as Clark proves. Just take a listen to that stunning debut record of hers. After its release in October 2013, it landed in the “best of the year” lists compiled by numerous music journalists.

So kudos to one of the finest singer-songwriters working these days. Catch her opening select shows on Eric Church’s fall tour.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.