2019 CMA Awards: Runaway June Claims Carrie Underwood Is Most Deserving of Entertainer of the Year Award (Exclusive)

The upcoming CMA Awards once again have a female artist nominated for Entertainer of the Year, namely Carrie Underwood. The nomination marks the first time a woman has been named in the category since 2016, when Underwood was also nominated. Although they might be a bit biased, since they are opening for Underwood on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, Runaway June claim it's Underwood who deserves the trophy more than any of the other nominees.

"I was so excited to see that, because I can't think of someone else who's more deserving of Entertainer of the Year," Naomi Cooke told PopCulture.com. "It's time for Carrie Underwood to win that. She's definitely one of the biggest entertainers on earth, let's not forget that. And then this tour. I mean, I don't think anyone's had a bigger, more successful tour than her, and I think she's going to win it. I really, really do."

Runaway June, which also includes Hannah Mulholland and Jennifer Wayne, have their first Top 15 hit, with "Buy My Own Drinks." The trio, which just released their freshman Blue Rose record, and has played fairs and festivals over the summer, were inexplicably left off the list of nominees for New Artist of the Year – a fact that likely disappointed their fans more than themselves.

"These award shows, I think sometimes you can get really in your head with it, and you think that that's what you're worth, because you get nominated," reflected Cooke. "There's so many factors that go into a nomination of the voting. But we'll be there at the awards show. We're in the Top 20, so we get to go there and be a part of it. And that feels so good.

"We've been nominated for an ACM Award, so still know that the count is on your side," she added. "It's like a committee of your peers that vote you in on that, and we're just not there yet. But I have faith that we will, it doesn't bum me out too much. We'll get there."

Runaway June is proud of "Buy My Own Drinks," regardless of whether it ever makes it to the top of the charts or not.

"That's really our focus," said Cooke. "An award nomination does not define you as an artist. It's the fans that show up. It's the people that are buying it, the sales numbers and people that are singing it back. And I'm not trying to sound cliché, when I say that, but that's the truth. You can lose sight of that very quickly because you're in this very small world of entertainment where you have all these fears. You're competing with a lot of people. You just lose sight of what your purpose is as an entertainer.

"We all want a No. 1, but the fans don't really know if you have a No. 22, or a No. 1 or a No. 17 – they don't care," she continued. "They just know that they love the song and they love the artist. They show up for you. That's it. That's what a hit is. So that's what we've tried to keep in our minds. The nominations are wonderful, but it's not everything. It doesn't define you."

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Underwood is competing in the Entertainer of the Year category with Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. The 2019 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Matt Winkelmeyer

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