Mickey Guyton Stands Strong on Her New EP <i>Bridges</i>

Mickey Guyton

The nominees have been announced for the 55th annual CMA Awards ceremony. While there are few surprises, as is typical with big awards events like these, there’s still plenty that’s worth noting.

Eric Church and Chris Stapleton, two fine singers and writers of strong songs, have a whopping five nominations each. Fellow phenom Miranda Lambert, who’s been nominated for one or more CMA Awards every year since 2005, has nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” her collaboration with Elle King.

Morgan Wallen — who got a second chance to play SNL in December after breaking the show’s COVID protocol, and then was filmed using the N-word in February — is barred from receiving any awards on his own. But he isn’t disqualified in collaborative categories, and his multi-platinum Dangerous: The Double Album is up for Album of the Year. Also, Lady A, widely known for filing suit against a Black blues singer who was going by Lady A for decades before the trio decided to change their name from Lady Antebellum, is up for Vocal Group of the Year.

There are some positives to note, in that at least two of the five nominees in several of the major categories are women: Entertainer of the Year (Carrie Underwood is in the field along with Lambert), Single of the Year (Gabby Barrett, Ashley McBryde) and Song of the Year (Barrett and McBryde again, as co-writers for their respective nominated songs).

The lack of people of color represented in most categories is, sadly, not a new thing. However, filmmaker Ed Pryor, who is an inspiration to superlative director Seck, is nominated for his work on a music video for Dierks Bentley. And outstanding singer-songwriter Mickey Guyton — who finally releases her debut album Remember Her Name on Sept. 24 after about a decade under contract to a major country label — is among the New Artist of the Year nominees. Here’s hoping she wins, for both the deserved recognition and the chance to talk about what a huge problem it is that the rules are written in a way that puts her in this position.

The ceremony is set to broadcast Wednesday, Nov. 10, on ABC affiliates. Check out the full list of nominees below.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs  
  • Miranda Lambert   
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood

 Single of the Year

Awarded to artist(s), producer(s) and mix engineer(s)

  • Chris Young with Kane Brown, “Famous Friends”
    Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young 
    Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt
  • Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones” 
    Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale
    Mix Engineers: Buckley Miller
  • Eric Church, “Hell of a View”
    Producer: Jay Joyce
    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards”
    Producer: Jay Joyce 
    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce  
  • Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over”
    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton 
    Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

Album of the Year  

Awarded to artist(s), producer(s) and mix engineer(s)

  • Carly Pearce, 29
    Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy Robbins
    Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore 
  • Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: The Double Album
    Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi 
    Mix Engineer: Joey Moi 
  • Eric Church, Heart
    Producer: Jay Joyce
    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • Brothers Osborne, Skeletons 
    Producer: Jay Joyce
    Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
  • Chris Stapleton, Starting Over
    Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

Song of the Year  

Awarded to songwriter(s)

  • Luke Combs, “Forever After All”  — Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford 
  • Gabby Barrett, “The Good Ones”  — Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick
  • Eric Church, “Hell of a View”  — Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell 
  • Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards”  — Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
  • Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over” — Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Gabby Barrett
  • Miranda Lambert   
  • Ashley McBryde  
  • Maren Morris  
  • Carly Pearce

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church   
  • Luke Combs  
  • Thomas Rhett  
  • Chris Stapleton

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady A 
  • Little Big Town  
  • Midland  
  • Old Dominion   
  • Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn  
  • Brothers Osborne  
  • Dan + Shay   
  • Florida Georgia Line  
  • Maddie & Tae

Musical Event of the Year

Awarded to artist(s) and producer(s)

  • Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan, “Buy Dirt” 
    Producer: Paul DiGiovanni 
  • Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, “Chasing After You”
    Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer
  • Elle King and Miranda Lambert , “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”
    Producers: Martin Johnson, Brandon Paddock 
  • Chris Young with Kane Brown, “Famous Friends”
    Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
  • Kelsea Ballerini featuring Kenny Chesney, “Half of My Hometown” 
    Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins

Musician of the Year

  • Jenee Fleenor, fiddle 
  • Paul Franklin, steel guitar 
  • Aaron Sterling, drums 
  • Ilya Toshinskiy, banjo 
  • Derek Wells, guitar 

Music Video of the Year  

Awarded to artist(s) and director(s) 

  • Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, “Chasing After You” 
    Director: T.K. McKamy 
  • Chris Young with Kane Brown, “Famous Friends” 
    Director: Peter Zavadil 
  • Dierks Bentley, “Gone”
    Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske
  • Kelsea Ballerini featuring Kenny Chesney, “Half of My Hometown”
    Director: Patrick Tracy 
  • Brothers Osborne, “Younger Me” 
    Director: Reid Long 

New Artist of the Year

  • Jimmie Allen  
  • Ingrid Andress  
  • Gabby Barrett  
  • Mickey Guyton
  • Hardy

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