The 2018 ACM Awards nominees have been announced, and while there are plenty of worthy artists among the list, like Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert, there are also several artists who should have been nominated, yet their names were mysteriously absent when Reba McEntire read the list of nominees this morning.
Read below to find out who we think should have heard their name mentioned in some categories where there were obvious snubs.
Entertainer of the Year:
All five of the artists nominated – Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton
and Keith Urban – have had stellar years, and they are all worthy contenders. But once again, we have to scratch our heads and go, "Where are the females?"
Carrie Underwood was nominated last year, and should have been, although this year she hasn't had music out our toured, so we'll give her a pass. But Miranda Lambert had one of the biggest years last year, with her Highway Vagabond Tour, and her The Weight of These Wings album, which was released at the end of 2016.
Or what about a Vocal Group? The Dixie Chicks were the last group to win Entertainer of the Year, and that was in 2000. Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town each have had successful years, both with albums and touring, and it would be nice to see at least one of them in the category.
Even among male artists, both Blake Shelton and Thomas Rhett have had really big years. Probably no one works harder than Shelton, who released Texoma Shore last year, had a No. 1 song, "I'll Name the Dogs," (which, inexplicably, is his only ACM nomination this year, for Single Record of the Year). Yet his last ACM Award (besides for his contribution in the multi-artist "Forever Country" Video), was for Song of the Year in 2013, for "Over You."
Male Vocalist of the Year:
Aldean, Stapleton and Urban are each nominated in this category, along with Rhett and Chris Young, who has been nominated 11 times, yet still hasn't walked away with a trophy. As one of the best singers in country music right now, it's time he is recognized for his talent. But where is Dierks Bentley? Or Shelton? Or Brad Paisley? What about Dustin Lynch, Eric Church and Garth Brooks? Or Brett Eldredge? Maybe even Chris Janson (who should have at least been nominated for New Male Vocalist of the Year)? We get that there are only five spots in the category, but it seems to have left a few important names out this year.
Speaking of Church, it's almost inexcusable that he failed to get even one nomination. The North Carolina native crossed the country on his grueling Holdin' My Own Tour, and had two Top 10 hits, including "Kill a Word" with Rhiannon Giddens.
Album of the Year:
All of the albums in this category are rightfully in this category, but we wish there had been room for Rhett's Life Changes, Lady Antebellum's Heart Break, or even Young's Losing Sleep.
Song of the Year:
This is another category Shelton and Lynch both deserved to be named in. Shelton's "I'll Name the Dogs" should have been in this category, as should have Lynch's "Small Town Boy," which stayed at the top of the charts for four weeks. Young's "Sober Saturday Night" or "Losing Sleep" definitely deserved a mention as well. And Little Big Town's "Better Man" was nominated for a GRAMMY in this category.
Also, Carly Pearce's "Every Little Thing" and Brett Young's "In Case You Didn't Know," definitely warranted some kind of recognition. And with only four songs mentioned in the category, there was definitely room for one more.
New Female Vocalist of the Year:
There are only four artists mentioned in this category: Lauren Alaina, Danielle Bradbery, Carly Pearce and RaeLynn. But the New Male Vocalist of the Year category has five. Surely there is one more female artist who deserved her name here. Lindsay Ell? Kacey Musgraves? Ashley McBryde?
Vocal Group of the Year:
All five groups in this category – Lady Antebellum, LANCO, Little Big Town, Midland and Old Dominion – have had great years. But it is baffling that two new groups, LANCO and Midland, are nominated and Rascal Flatts are not. The Flatts haven't won in Vocal Group since 2008, which frankly just doesn't make sense. The trio released their "Back to Us" album last year, had two No. 1 hits, with "I Like the Sound of That" and "Yours if You Want It." With both LANCO and Midland nominated in New Vocal Duo or Group as well, surely one of those spots could have been given to the Flatts instead.4comments
The 2018 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 15 at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.
Photo Credit: Instagram/RascalFlatts