Only two 2015 ACM Award nominees for Entertainer of the Year were nominated in 2014. That might be the biggest surprise from the just-announced ACMs nominations. A closer look reveals many of the stars we’ve come to count on, with a few glaring exceptions.
There was one major snub in the Entertainer of the Year category, and another, somewhat smaller snub in the Single/Song categories. A few superstars were shut out completely, but Miranda Lambert continues to dominate nomination day, racking up eight nods in 2015. Are any of these surprises? Should she have gotten more love from voters?
Below are the Top 3 Surprises and Snubs heading into the April 19 CBS broadcast. The 2015 ACM Awards will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary.
Garth Brooks for Entertainer of the Year: It’s a category that’s difficult for an aging star to break back into, unless you’re nearing retirement. Garth Brooks‘ nomination comes solely on the hysteria created by his comeback. He’s selling out shows like Apple sells out of iPhones at Christmastime. Not all parts of the comeback have been as successful. Thus far, his ‘Man Against the Machine‘ album has failed to produce a radio hit.
Florida Georgia Line for Entertainer of the Year: They’ve earned it. There are few haters who’ve actually seen Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard perform live, because it’s pretty impossible to dismiss the energy they bring to man-sized venues. Ironically, the thoughtful ballad ‘Dirt’ (another pleasant surprise nominee in the Single of the Year category) is the song that put Florida Georgia Line in this category. They needed to prove they were a well-rounded act to rely on to be considered for the spring’s highest honor.
Glen Campbell’s ACM Nomination: ‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You‘ is a beautiful song, and the video recalls Johnny Cash’s powerful ‘Hurt’ video from 2003. Glen Campbell‘s song and video were released quietly — it’s good to see voters were paying close attention.
Blake Shelton: Shelton’s exclusion from the Entertainer of the Year category is embarrassing. The singer, ‘The Voice’ coach, ‘Saturday Night Live’ host and late-night talk show favorite is country’s most visible personality. None of this has come at the expense of the music. Shelton is perhaps the premiere male vocalist of the last five years, and he’s done nothing to indicate he’s slowing down.
‘Girl in a Country Song’: 2014′s most important song didn’t get any love in the way of an ACM Single or Song of the Year nomination. Few songs made an impact like Maddie & Tae‘s debut hit, which also reached No. 1. No female duo had done that since the Wreckers — given how tough it’s been for women in country music, that’s quite an accomplishment.
No Tim McGraw: ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’ Earned a Vocal Event nomination, but missed out on Single or Song of the Year nods. Tim McGraw‘s duet with Faith Hill was ToC’s Top Song of 2014 and made many similar lists nationwide. The ‘Sundown Heaven Town’ album is also worthy, but it’s difficult to pick one of the five nominated albums it should replace.
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