Chris Stapleton Leads This Year’s ACM Nominations

The nominees for the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards were announced yesterday, with Chris Stapleton leading the pack with eight nominations, in five categories, including the night’s big award, Entertainer of the Year, the first time he’s been recognized in that category.

Other multiple nominees include Thomas Rhett with six, Keith Urbanwith five, including his eighth Entertainer of the Year nod, and Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris each nabbing four.

This year’s Entertainer of the Year category is decidedly male, with Chris and Keith set to go up against last year’s winner, Jason Aldean, as well as Garth Brooks, and Luke Bryan.

  • In some of the more interesting nods, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill got their first-ever nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year, while after being completely snubbed last year, Blake Shelton’s received a nod for Single Record of the Year for “I’ll Name the Dogs.” Finally, Glen Campbellreceived a posthumous nomination in the category Vocal Event of the Year for “Funny How Time Slips Away,” his duet with Willie Nelson.

The 53rd annual ACM Awards, which will be hosted by Reba McEntire, will air April 15th on CBS from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. This will be Reba’s 15th time hosting, and her first time since 2012.

Check out the complete list of nominees below:


  • Jason Aldean
  • Garth Brooks
  • Luke Bryan
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban


  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Reba McEntire
  • Maren Morris
  • Carrie Underwood


  • Jason Aldean
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban
  • Chris Young


  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Tim McGraw & Faith Hill


  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion


  • Lauren Alaina
  • Danielle Bradbery
  • Carly Pearce
  • Raelynn


  • Kane Brown
  • Luke Combs
  • Devin Dawson
  • Russell Dickerson
  • Brett Young


  • High Valley
  • Midland
  • Runaway June


  • “The Breaker” – Little Big Town
  • “California Sunrise” – Jon Pardi
  • “From A Room: Volume 1” – Chris Stapleton
  • “Happy Endings” – Old Dominion
  • “Life Changes” – Thomas Rhett


  • “Better Man” – Little Big Town
  • “Body Like A Back Road” – Sam Hunt
  • “Broken Halos” – Chris Stapleton
  • “Drinkin’ Problem” – Midland
  • “I’ll Name The Dogs” – Blake Shelton


  • “Body Like a Back Road” – Sam Hunt
  • “Female” – Keith Urban
  • “Tin Man” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Whiskey And You” – Chris Stapleton


  • “Black” – Dierks Bentley
  • “It Ain’t My Fault” – Brothers Osborne
  • “Legends” – Kelsea Ballerini
  • “Marry Me” – Thomas Rhett
  • “We Should Be Friends” – Miranda Lambert


  • “Craving You” – Thomas Rhett Featuring Maren Morris
  • “Dear Hate” – Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
  • “Funny (How Time Slips Away)” – Glen Campbell And Willie Nelson
  • “The Fighter” – Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood
  • “What Ifs” – Kane Brown Featuring Lauren Alaina


Source: ACM Country

10 Country Albums That Took 2017 By Storm

The best country albums from any given year are timeless, and 2017 is no different. The top spots go to artists with a long history of making great country music, even if mainstream fans are just starting to learn their names.

Few will be surprised to see Chris Stapleton on this list of the year’s top releases, but the From A Room album duo aren’t No. 1 on this collection of great projects. Projects from Kelsea Ballerini, Kip Moore, and newcomer Brett Young get mad respect.

Fan and critic opinion were weighed heavily in the making of this list, but sales, awards, and the number of hit radio songs also played a role. It’s difficult to ignore an album that charts two or three hit songs in any given year, right?

Here Are the Best Country Albums of 2017:

No. 10: Brett Young, ‘Brett Young’
The country newcomer and Taste of Country RISERS act released an album full of love songs without finding two that sound quite the same. Every expression feels genuine and original. The pop-friendly collection of musings from the California native’s heart and songbook is at its best when he leans into life’s highs and lows. He makes it look easy.

No. 9: Old Dominion, ‘Happy Endings’
Happy Endings shows a different side of Old Dominion‘s artistry. The 12 songs are as a whole deeper and more patient than those found on their debut album. “Shoe Shopping” is one that recalls the wry wit fans fell in love with on Meat and Candy. The laid-back, cheeky lyrics are reminiscent of the group’s breakthrough hit “Break Up With Him.” After that it’s poetry (“Written in Sand“), true love songs (“Stars in the City”) and boozy regret (“A Girl Is a Gun”).

No. 8: Angaleena Presley, ‘Wrangled’
Angaleena Presley stays true to her roots on Wrangled, but expands with even more rootsy stories that don’t lack for detail. The artist and album are not for the demure country music fan. Her vivid characters nearly stand on the speakers during songs like “Only Blood.” Through it all she weaves various genres into the soundscape.

No. 7: Kelsea Ballerini, ‘Unapologetically’
It’s cliche to compare Kelsea Ballerini to Taylor Swift, but her second studio album is reminiscent of the now-pop star’s sophomore effort in the way she builds emotional songs of love and love lost around narcotic melodies. This album is pure candy until you dig in to find thoughtful, emotional observations about a relationship that just ended and one she’s just beginning. Each song is 100 percent accessible, something Swift struggled with as her love life became tabloid fodder. Ballerini relies on details, but there’s no over-the-top sentiment or dig at an ex that comes across as specific to her situation. This may be the most important album of 2017, as with so few females poised to become stars, Ballerini shows she’s capable.

No. 6: Lindsay Ell, ‘The Project’
The Project is an essential album for fans who like their brand of country music black and blue. Lindsay Ell‘s longtime coming debut album is genre-less a la Sheryl Crow or Bonnie Raitt. Deep blues licks and aching vocals that refuse to be boxed in are signatures of the 12 songs on the album. There’s not another active female in country to compare her to — the newcomer all but forced her way onto this list of the best country albums of 2017.

No. 5: Walker Hayes, ‘Boom’
Hayes admits that without Sam Hunt, his music would bounce off the radio like polka, but we live in a post-Hunt era and Boom is the first album that’s come since Montevallo that feels equal. The singer goes deep into his personal life and reveals scars like they’re badges of honor, even though he’s still very much working his way out of addiction and near-bankruptcy. The melodies and Beck-like production will grab your attention, but strong lyrics make this one of the best albums of 2017.

No. 4A & 4B: Chris Stapleton, ‘From A Room’ Albums
Stapleton provides once again. The follow-ups to Traveller. don’t surprise like his solo debut, instead relying on the strength of his vocals and songwriting. That’s a great bet when you’re Chris Stapleton. He’s a a postman, dropping notes of blues, soul, pain and sorrow into your mailbox. Both are moody, nine-song albums that reinforces all we know and reintroduce special covers.

No. 3: Kip Moore, ‘Slow Heart’
Kip Moore‘s Slowheart is a Southern rock-inspired country album that would sound just fine played front to back at his live show. The singer simplified his approach, even if the result is a more textured project than Wild Ones (2015). Gone is that veil of sadness that tied his sophomore album together. Instead, you sense that Moore’s band was as free to rock out in studio as they felt necessary. Everyone is having a lot more fun on Slowheart, even if the lyrics don’t always support the party.

No. 2: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, ‘The Nashville Sound’
Great artists will make great albums, and Jason Isbell is a great artist. There is nothing pretentious about the Nashville Sound, a project that finds the 400 Unit once again getting co-billing. It’s not coincidence that the best albums on this list come from artist who worry nothing for radio success.

No. 1: Aaron Watson, ‘Vaquero’
Aaron Watson’s Vaquero album is a rich collection of cowboy poetry. Every verse touches two or more senses. The best songs clip the soul. The Texan is a rambler, a lover, thinker, statement-maker and romantic on this dynamic mix of pure country themes. Through it all is a thread that’s so rare in today’s country music. “They Don’t Make Em Like They Used To” should have been a hit this year, but at least the album will leave a mark as No. 1 on our list.

Do you agree with our list? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

Chris Stapleton Updates Fans on Postponements

Chris Stapleton has updated fans on why he had to postpone three weeks of shows on “The All-American Road Show” tour, as well as cancel his CMA Fest performance on June 11. In a letter to fans posted on social media, Chris wrote that he’s recovering from a broken bone and detached tendon in his right index finger, although he didn’t mention how he sustained the injury. Chris says the doctor is hopeful that with some physical therapy he’ll be playing guitar again soon, but right now he doesn’t feel like he could give fans the show they deserve. The full message can be seen here. Rescheduled dates for the postponed shows can be found here.

BREAKING: Chris Stapleton Postpones 3 Weeks of Shows

Chris Stapleton has postponed the next three weeks of shows on his “The All-American Road Show.” While no specific reason was given for the postponements, a message posted on Stapleton’s socials apologized for any inconvenience this may cause and said they are working to reschedule the shows. Eight of Chris’ upcoming concerts on the “The All-American Road Show” have been postponed, and his scheduled appearance at Nashville’s CMA Music Festival on Sunday, June 11 has been canceled.


The list of canceled and postponed dates include:


June 1 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center

June 2 – Mt. View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre

June 3 – Wheatland, CA – Toyota Amphitheatre

June 9 – Southaven, MS – Bankplus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove

June 10 – Birmingham, AL – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

June 11 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium (CMA Music Festival) – canceled

June 15 – Charleston, WV – Charleston Civic Center

June 16 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center

June 17 – Noblesville, IN – Klipsch Music Center

Country Stars React to Gregg Allman’s Death

Several country stars took to social media over the weekend to react to the death of Southern Rock icon Gregg Allman on Saturday (5/27) at the age of 69. A message on The Allman BrothersBand’swebsite says Gregg passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia. While no specific cause of death was immediately given, the message said that Allman had “struggled with many health issues over the past several years.”


Here’s how some of the country stars reacted to Allman’s death:


While playing his last show on the “Holdin’ My Own Tour” in Nashville on Saturday (5/27), Eric Church performed a rendition of The Allman Brother Band’s classic “Midnight Rider.” That performance can be seen here:


Keith Urban‏: My heart breaks today at the passing of soul brutha Gregg Allman. Blessings and peace to all the Allman family. – KU


Brad Paisley‏: What a legacy @GreggAllman leaves behind. Jam on in the great hereafter.


Jason Aldean: This one hurts a lot. This was one of my heroes. He made it seem possible for a kid to come out of Macon, Georgia, make a name for himself and make it in this business. He was such an inspiration to so many of us that tried so hard to imitate him but could just never quite do it the same. Thanks for the music and thanks for making me believe I could achieve my music dreams too. RIP Gregg Allman. https://www.instagram.com/p/BUnQp6XjhcU/


Jimi Westbrook: One of my favorite voices of all time. We lost a legend today. RIP Gregg Allman. Your music lives on forever in our hearts. https://www.instagram.com/p/BUnT6W9j6qb/


Chris Stapleton‏: The first time I ever set foot in an amphitheater, I opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd & the Allman Brothers.


Chris Stapleton: I’ll always be grateful for that moment and the wealth of musical influence. RIP Gregg Allman https://vimeo.com/188680983


Charlie Daniels: Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have

hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever


Jennifer Nettles‏: [Heartbroken emoji] One of the best.


Wynonna‏: I recently spent time with this beautiful spirit & sang every word at the concert. I sit here stunned that we have lost another legend. #RIP https://twitter.com/Wynonna/status/868557183235051520


Travis Tritt‏: I’m so very saddened to hear of the passing of rock & blues legend Gregg Allman. He was such a huge influence on me.


Billy Ray Cyrus: RIP @GreggAllman. A true legend.

Chris Stapleton’s New Album Has A Big Debut

Chris Stapleton’s new album, From A Room: Volume 1, has made a big debut on the album charts, selling 202,000 copies in its first week. Not only did Stapleton’s sophomore record debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart, but it also notched the #2 spot on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. The album also becomes the highest-selling country debut since Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights album sold 320,000 copies in its first week in 2015.


·         But Chris doesn’t just hold the #1 spot on the country albums chart. His debut record, Traveller, also sits at #2 on the chart, with sales of 24,000 copies. This marks only the second time that a male artist has held the chart’s 1st and 2nd positions in the same week since 1993.

Chris Stapleton Sings ZZ Top Parody on Tonight Show

Chris Stapleton didn’t just perform his own music on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night (5/10); he also teamed up with Fallon and actor Kevin Bacon for a parody of ZZ Top’s hit “Legs.” The collaboration was part of the show’s “First Drafts of Rock” segment, which featured the unlikely trio dressed up as the rock group as they confused the song’s lyrics with different body parts other than legs. The hilarious video can be seen here.


  • Stapleton later returned to the stage to perform the song “I Was Wrong,” which appears on his new album, From A Room: Volume 1.

BREAKING: CMA Fest Stadium Lineup Revealed

The Nightly Concert lineup at Nissan Stadium during CMA Music Festival was revealed this morning (3/17) on ABC’s Good Morning America. Taking the big stage this year will be Trace Adkins, John Anderson, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Tracy Lawrence, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, and Chris Young.


·         The 2017 CMA Music Festival will take place June 8-11 in downtown Nashville.

March 14th: On This Day

On this day in 2006, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller album was sitting on top of the Billboard Country Album’s chart. The album received critical acclaim, reaching number one the US Billboard 200 chart and being Certified Double Platinum by the RIAA.

Traveller was named Album of the Year at the 2015 Country Music Association Awards, received a nomination at the 58th Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, and a win for Best Country Album. The song

At the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards, it won Album of the Year, with the song “Nobody to Blame” also winning Song of the Year. Stapleton is the first artist to win album of the year, male vocalist of the year, and new artist of the year at the same award ceremony.


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