What a CMA Nomination Feels Like to Brett Young

Making a Living in Music Already Feels Like a Win

Getting a CMA Awards nomination in the new artist category is almost always a sign of things to come. And it is almost always an honor, a surprise and in Brett Young’s case, over-the-top flattering.

When CMT.com caught up with Young earlier this week, he admitted that if there was good news, his phone would start blowing up before he even woke up.

The newly transplanted Nashvillian is finally in the right time zone for the big announcement. “This is the first time where I haven’t been on the west coast when nominations come out,” Young said. “So, what generally happens because of the time difference, I wake up to a bunch of text messages. This is the first time I’ll actually be here. I might actually be awake when everyone else finds out, too, but it’s all icing on the cake. I get to do something I love for a living and that in itself is enough.

“When something like this happens — the actual music community acknowledges something — people probably think I’m full of it when I say just being mentioned in the category is enough. People ask, ’If you get in, are you competitive about winning?’ If my name is being mentioned, I’m good. It’s always interesting for me because I think getting to do this for a living is like already winning the lottery,” he added. “When stuff like this happens, it’s kind of over-the-top flattering.”

Young’s fellow nominees in the category are Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs, Chris Janson and Midland.

Young — a man of few words on social media — had just one all-caps word when the announcement was made on Tuesday (Aug. 28). “STOKED,” he wrote with a link to the CMA Awards new artist list.

Young’s CMT on Tour: Here Tonight kicks off on Nov. 16, just two days after the CMA Awards will be broadcast live from Nashville on Nov. 14.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.