Voting members of the Country Music Association really like “Tequila,” which was a monster hit for Dan + Shay. The song, co-written by the duo’s Dan Smyers with Nicolle Galyon and Jordan Reynolds, is nominated for song of the year for a second year in a row. The winner will be announced at the 53rd annual CMA Awards on Nov. 13.
“Tequila” lost song of the year last year to “Broken Halos” (by Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson). This year it’s competing with “Beautiful Crazy” (by Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III and Robert Williford), “GIRL” (by Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons and Greg Kurstin), “God’s Country” (by Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt and Michael Hardy) and “Rainbow” (by Kacey Musgraves, Natalie Hemby and Shane McAnally).
Unlike the Grammys, the CMA allows songs to receive two nominations for song of the year. “Tequila” is the 19th song to be nominated twice in this marquee category.
Three songs — “Easy Loving,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Always on My Mind” — have won song of the year twice. A fourth song of the year winner, “On the Other Hand,” was nominated again the following year but lost the second time.
Five songs lost the first time they were nominated but won the second time. They are “God Bless the USA,” “When I Call Your Name,” “Chattahoochee,” “Murder on Music Row” and “Whiskey Lullaby.”
The CMA’s policy is good news for these particular songwriters. Of course, we’ll never know what songs weren’t nominated at all because the CMA gave these songwriters two shots at the top prize.
Three songs that Alan Jackson co-wrote — “Here in the Real World,” “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Chattahoochee” — were nominated for song of the year twice. Two songs written or co-written by Bobby Braddock — “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Time Marches On” — were nominated twice.
Here’s a complete list of the songs that have been nominated twice for song of the year by the CMA, together with how they fared on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart.
“Easy Loving” by Freddie Hart. Won in both 1971 and 1972. Hart’s single was No. 1 for three weeks.
“It Was Almost Like a Song” by Hal David & Archie Jordan. Nominated in both 1977 and 1978. Ronnie Milsap‘s single was No. 1 for three weeks.
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” by Braddock & Curly Putnam. Won in both 1980 and 1981. George Jones‘ single was No. 1 for one week.
“Always on My Mind” by Johnny Christopher, Wayne Carson & Mark James. Won in both 1982 and 1983. Willie Nelson‘s single was No. 1 for two weeks.
“God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood. Nominated in 1984. Won in 1985. Greenwood’s single peaked at No. 7.
“On the Other Hand” by Don Schlitz & Paul Overstreet. Won in 1986. Nominated in 1987. Randy Travis‘ single was No. 1 for one week.
“Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” by brothers Gene Nelson & Paul Nelson. Nominated in both 1988 and 1989. Kathy Mattea‘s single was No. 1 for two weeks.
“When I Call Your Name” by Vince Gill & Tim DuBois. Nominated in 1990. Won in 1991. Gill’s single peaked at No. 2.
“Here in the Real World” by Jackson & Mark Irwin. Nominated in both 1990 and 1991. Jackson’s single peaked at No. 3.
“Don’t Rock the Jukebox” by Alan Jackson, Keith Stegall & Roger Murrah. Nominated in both 1991 and 1992. Jackson’s single was No. 1 for three weeks.
“Chattahoochee” by Jackson & Jim McBride. Nominated in 1993. Won in 1994. Jackson’s single was No. 1 for four weeks.
“Don’t Take the Girl” by Craig Martin & Larry Johnson. Nominated in both 1994 and 1995. Tim McGraw‘s single was No. 1 for two weeks.
“Time Marches On” by Braddock. Nominated in both 1996 and 1997. Tracy Lawrence‘s single was No. 1 for three weeks.
“Murder on Music Row” by Larry Cordle & Larry Shell. Nominated in 2000. Won in 2001. George Strait‘s single (with Jackson) peaked at No. 38.
“Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson & John Rich. Nominated in both 2004 and 2005. Wilson’s single was No. 1 for five weeks.
“Body Like a Back Road” by Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, McAnally & Josh Osborne. Nominated in both 2017 and 2018. Hunt’s single was No. 1 for 34 weeks.
“Tequila” by Galyon, Reynolds & Smyers. Nominated in both 2018 and 2019. Dan + Shay’s single was No. 1 for four weeks.