Maren Mor­ris leads CMA nom­i­na­tions

The Prince George Citizen - - A & e -

Maren Mor­ris has a chance to win up to eight tro­phies in­clud­ing al­bum of the year at the 2019 Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Awards thanks to her work as an artist, song­writer and pro­ducer.

With the suc­cess of her al­bum GIRL, which Mor­ris co-pro­duced, the Grammy win­ner scored nom­i­na­tions like sin­gle of the year, song of the year and fe­male vo­cal­ist of the year.

The al­bum’s ti­tle track, which Mor­ris co-wrote, topped Bill­board’s coun­try air­play chart this year, the first time a solo fe­male had a No. 1 hit on that chart in well over a year.

The CMAs also an­nounced Wed­nes­day that Dan Smy­ers of Dan + Shay could win up to six awards work as an artist, co­pro­ducer of their self-ti­tled third al­bum and as a co-writer of their cross­over hit, Speech­less.

Shay Mooney of the Gram­my­win­ning duo earned three nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing duo of the year.

Carrie Un­der­wood re­turned to the top cat­e­gory, en­ter­tainer of the year, for the first time since 2016, along­side Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and last year’s win­ner, Keith Ur­ban.

There were no women nom­i­nated in the top cat­e­gory in 2018 and 2017.

The big­gest song of 2019, Old Town Road by rap­per Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, will com­pete for mu­si­cal event of the year, also earn­ing a nom­i­na­tion for Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who is listed as a co-pro­ducer of the No. 1 hit (Old Town Road sam­ples Nine Inch Nails’ 34 Ghosts IV).

The nom­i­na­tion is Cyrus’ first since his own break­out coun­try­dance hit, Achy Breaky Heart, was nom­i­nated in 1992.

Broth­ers Os­borne picked up four nom­i­na­tions, in­clud­ing two for their col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dierks Bent­ley on Burn­ing Man; one for All My Fa­vorite Peo­ple, a duet with Mor­ris; and duo of the year.

Un­der­wood could win up to four tro­phies, in­clud­ing for al­bum of the year and fe­male vo­cal­ist of the year.

Brooks & Dunn re­ceived their first CMA nom­i­na­tions since 2010: they picked up nom­i­na­tions for duo of the year and mu­si­cal event of the year for a new ver­sion of Brand New Man fea­tur­ing Luke Combs.

The vet­eran duo, who re­leased a collaborat­ive hits al­bum this year, have a record 14 wins for duo of the year.

Also mak­ing his­tory this year is Je­nee Fleenor, a fid­dle player who is the first woman ever to be nom­i­nated for mu­si­cian of the year, a cat­e­gory that be­gan in 1988.

Fleenor, who has been in Blake Shelton’s band for about six years and has played on al­bums for Shelton, Jon Pardi, Ras­cal Flatts and Terri Clark, has been play­ing since she was three and knew early on that she wanted to be a stu­dio mu­si­cian.

But she never re­ally paid at­ten­tion to the gen­der dis­par­ity in the stu­dio un­til re­cently.

“In the stu­dio world, prob­a­bly 99 per cent of the time, I am the only woman,” Fleenor said. “Grow­ing up when I wanted to be a ses­sion mu­si­cian, I never told my­self I can’t do that be­cause I am a woman.”

New artist of the year nom­i­na­tions went to Cody John­son, Ash­ley McBryde, Mid­land, Carly Pearce and Mor­gan Wallen.

McBryde said af­ter an­nounc­ing the nom­i­na­tions on Good Morn­ing Amer­ica that she nor­mally wears leather jack­ets to award shows, but she’s de­cided to dress it up this year.

“An­other song­writer in town of­fered to loan me some of her gowns and no one is go­ing to ex­pect me in a gown on the red car­pet,” McBryde said.

Un­der­wood is re­turn­ing to host the CMAs, which will air live on Nov. 13 on ABC, but with­out her long­time co-host Brad Pais­ley.

Dolly Par­ton and Reba McEn­tire will join Un­der­wood as spe­cial guest hosts at the Bridge­stone Arena in Nashville, Ten­nessee.

Mark Wys­trach, of the vo­cal group Mid­land, who are nom­i­nated for two awards, ap­plauded the change in host­ing du­ties as a way to ac­knowl­edge women’s con­tri­bu­tions to the genre.

“No of­fence, Brad, but we’ve been want­ing to meet Dolly for a long time,” he said Wed­nes­day.


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