The ACM Awards are right around the corner. And that means the new artist of the year nominees are vying for fans' votes.
And it also means that nominees might cast a vote for themselves. (Why not, right?) But after talking with Kip Moore last week, I got the impression he may actually vote for one of his competitors.
"Justin (Moore) has deserved this award for quite a while," Moore told me on Wednesday (Feb. 26) night in Chicago. "We're such polar opposites as artists, but I just love what he does. I was out with him on the (Eric) Church tour, and I'm a fan of how he always owns it. He just walks onstage and owns it. He should've won this award before. Somebody messed up."
Kip Moore went on to say that the other Moore has the kind of fan base that matters -- true fans who buy the albums and concert tickets.
"Sometimes people miss that and give the nod to somebody who might've had a little more radio success," he said. "But what he's been building is the most important thing to me."
Moore and Moore are nominated along with Brett Eldredge for the fan-voted award that will be revealed on the live broadcast on April 6. The three finalists were chosen from a group of eight semifinalists that included Lee Brice, Tyler Farr, Kacey Musgraves, Thomas Rhett and Parmalee.
"I learned early on in this career that you can't focus on things you can't control," Moore said. "And I can't control awards. So I tend to focus on the things I can control. But I'll tell you what. When you get the nod like that, it kind of validates that your whole journey wasn't in vain. You're being recognized for what you've been doing, and it's a cool feeling."
Moore knows, though, if he does win, it will be a win for his entire band and crew and songwriters.
"It's my name, but it's all of us," he said. "We've all been grinding through this together."