CMA Awards: The 2018 Nominees Explained

Top CMT Facebook Follower Questions Answered

Whenever nominations for any award show come out, there are usually armies of disappointed fans who don’t see their favorite stars listed (We feel you.).

The competition is fierce, and it gets more ferocious every year. The CMA Awards are considered the Oscars of mainstream country music, and judging by the chronology over the last decade, the biggest songs within each eligible period determine the winners.

When CMT posted its initial report on the 2018 nominees, the news was met with mixed emotions, emojis and questions on Facebook about how the final round of nominees came to be.

The staff picked a few of their favorite questions from CMT’s Facebook followers to see if we could help address their concerns.

  1. Lack of women and diversity overall

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  2. Let The Next Generation In

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    Let’s examine this argument by using new artist of the year as an example. It’s a good crop of talent in this year’s category, there’s no denying that. But it does seem like a shift of some familiar faces into the bigger categories like male and female vocalist would help make space for other deserving candidates, too. Lauren Alaina, for one, has already graduated to the big leagues, in my book. Give that girl a female vocalist nod. With breakout years like Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde’s (and no real qualifiers holding them back) it’s hard to imagine a table of rising stars without them. Then again, we’ve been forced to do just that with Charlie Worsham for years, haven’t we? SS

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  3. Feeling Single…

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    It’s hard to deny a smash. That’s the one thing this year’s single of the year nominees all have in common. But there were a lot of them, really, that could’ve qualified during this eligibility period (July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018). What we’re mostly trying to say right now is we really miss seeing Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me” in this category. Song of the year, too, really, and speaking of… SS

  4. It All Begins with a Song (of the Year)

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    With even less radio and chart strings attached to its qualifications than its sister category single of the year, song of the year innately seems like the just and right time to really hone in on recognizing the craft of undeniably brilliant songwriting. After all, it’s even awarded specifically to the songwriters. It would have been glorious to have also seen some of the year’s finest gems given consideration here, too. I’m talking about “Break Up in the End,” “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega” — heck, we didn’t even get to Kacey Musgraves or Ashley Monroe…maybe next year? SS

  5. WYA, Blake Shelton?

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    Exactly, Kim. Where is Blake Shelton? Maybe he didn’t tour enough in the CMA Awards’ time frame to be considered for the entertainer of the year category, but come on. Do we really live in a world now where he isn’t even considered to be a male vocalist nominee? Shelton won the entertainer of the year CMA in 2012, and he’s humble enough to admit that once you’ve won, it’s nice to step aside and let another artist have that big moment. He was nominated a couple more times after that, but then he dropped off the list. That may correlate to the years when he became better known for his role on The Voice than for his ability to fill an arena with country fans. But still. We’re not over it.

    And then as for male vocalist, Shelton won that award five years in a row. Five. And this year he didn’t even make the list of nominees? Furthermore, a guy like Garth Brooks can take home the entertainer of the year trophy the past two years, but now he is not even considered in any category? With the exclusion of Shelton — and other household names like Brooks or Tim McGraw — it is starting to feel like this is the year that the CMA voters were operating an out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new mindset. AB

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