Fans of Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban may feel snubbed by the lack of CMA love shown during Wednesday morning’s nominations announcement, but the missing nods are explainable, if not appropriate. All three acts were between albums, meaning their most recent — and in some cases, best — material simply wasn’t eligible.
The same can’t be said for Blake Shelton or Reba McEntire, and both make the snubbed list. While it’s easy to conclude Jason Aldean, Bryan and Florida Georgia Line’s relative lack of nominations (one each) is symbolic of shifting opinions on their style of music, that may be premature. Save that conversation for 12 months from now when all three have new, eligible albums.
As for the surprises, you have to look at Chris Stapleton first. His Album of the Year nomination was no shock (it was named ToC’s Best Album of 2015, So Far) but his inclusion over Aldean, Urban and Chesney for Male Vocalist is stunning. Relative to those superstars, he’s unheard of, but clearly CMA voters were paying sharp attention this year.
Flip through the above gallery to see all 2015 CMA Awards surprises and snubs, and then share what you think should have happened in the comments section below. According to the CMA website, singles, albums, music videos and other qualified products must have been first released during a specific eligibility period, typically between July 1 of the previous year and June 30 of this year.
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