Now that the 2019 CMA Award nominations have been revealed, Billboard is out with its picks for the year’s biggest snubs and surprises:

  • SNUB: Kane Brown. One of the hottest stars in country music earned no nominations. In fact, Brown has never received a CMA Award nomination–not even for New Artist of the Year.
  • SURPRISE: Blake Shelton. After receiving no nominations in any category since 2015, Shelton is nominated for “God’s Country,” his strongest song and performance in years.
  • SNUB: Luke Bryan. For the first time since 2012, Bryan missed an Entertainer of the Year nomination. He’s won twice and is one of the few country artists who can fill stadiums.
  • SURPRISE: Garth Brooks. Not for his Entertainer of the Year nod, but for his nomination for his Blake Shelton duet “Dive Bar.” It’s his first nomination for Musical Event of the Year (formerly known as Vocal Event of the Year) since 2002, when he and George Jones were nominated for “Beer Run.”
  • SNUB: Jimmie Allen and Russell Dickerson. Both broke through in a big way in 2018 and 2019, yet were left out of the New Artist of the Year category.
  • SURPRISE: “Old Town Road.” After being passed over for Single and Song of the Year, by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’s hit remix managed to get some love in the Musical Event of the Year category.
  • SNUB: Little Big Town’s “The Daughters.” It’s nothing short of criminal that “The Daughters”–one of the strongest statements ever recorded by a country act–didn’t receive a Song of the Year nomination. Same with Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.”


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