This is a very wide ranging group nominated for New Artist of the Year, which can only mean good thing for the Country Music Industry.
Like Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina comes from American Idol. While she didn’t win, she was the runner-up, she received high praise from the judges throughout the competition. Alaina ended 2017 on a high note when she was the only female artist to top both the Country Airplay charts and the Hot Country charts in the same year. Her duo with Kane Brown, “What Ifs,” was one of the most streamed songs of the year. She’s also been touring with Alan Jackson, Cole Swindell, and Jason Aldean. This is the second time she has been nominated for this award.
Combs became popular on Facebook before he was topping the charts, and his audience followed him to the radio. His first song, “Hurricane,” finished 2017 at No. 3 on the Hot Country chart. His follow-up single, “When it Rains it Pours,” finished the year just outside the top 10. This is the first year Combs has been nominated at the CMAs, and he could take him two awards. He’s also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year. His third single, which was his third No. 1, aptly named “One Number Away,” could land combs his first CMA award.
Janson burst onto the scene in 2015 with his single “Buy Me a Boat.” While his next two releases didn’t chart as high, his most recent songs have both made it to the top 10 on the Country Airplay charts. It’s been quite the year for Janson. He sold out the Ryman Auditorium for the first time, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry after he was invited by Keith Urban, and he became the youngest member to ever be inducted into the Opry. Oh, yeah, and Garth Brooks was the one to induct him. He’s nominated for two other CMA Awards. He’s hoping he’ll take home the Song of the Year award for “Drunk Girl.” The song’s video is also nominated for Video of the Year.
The only group or duo nominated in the category, Midland brings a lot of style to the category. Known somewhat for their traditional country & western garb and wide-brimmed hats, the group is definitely memorable. Midland gets their name from a Dwight Yoakam song and their music reflects that same style. Their first three singles all made it into the top 20 in the Country Airplay charts. Their first ever single, “Drinkin’ Problem,” debuted at No. 3. So far this year they’ve toured with Little Big Town, Margo Price, and Thomas Rhett. The band won the New Duo or Group award at the ACM’s which is a very good sign heading into CMA Awards night.
Young is ironically enough one of the older artists in the category. He started his music career back in 2007 but didn’t move to Nashville until 2015. Since then he has had four No.1 singles, all from his first album. Young wrote or co-wrote all of his songs on his debut album, including the ones that made it to the top of the charts. He’s the first artists since Sam Hunt to have such a successful debut. His most recent single, “Here Tonight,” is still making its way up the charts. It’s the first single off his upcoming sophomore album, Ticket to L.A.