It turned out to be a great day for Nashville-related acts as the nominees for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards were announced Tuesday (Dec. 6) morning. While there might have been a few surprises, the dominance of Maren Morris was not one of them. The Texan hit the industry in a big way in 2016, and continued to pick up steam throughout the year. In addition to her nominations for Best Country Solo Performance, Best County Song (“My Church”) and for Best Album (Hero), she also found herself in the running for the overall Best New Artist prize. She wasn’t alone in that distinction, as fellow country newcomer Kelsea Ballerini finds herself up for that award. Sturgill Simpson also had a huge day, with a nomination for Album of the Year as well as Country Album. A look at the nominations reflect a nice mix of trend-setters current and legendary.
In a year that saw the resurgence of the female vocalist in country music, it should come as no surprise that four of the five nominees in this category are women. Clark, Lambert, and Morris have all been huge critical favorites this year, and their inclusion here is expected. Expect Morris to take this category.