2018 has been a big year for Dan + Shay, in every way. The duo, made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, had a mega-hit with their multi-week No. 1 hit, "Tequila," which landed on the pop charts as well. They also released their self-titled third studio album, and appear to be repeating the success of "Tequila" with the follow-up single, "Speechless," which seems destined to become a chart-topping hit as well.
Dan + Shay also received four CMA Awards nominations, for Vocal Duo of the Year, and Music Video of the Year and Single of the Year, both for "Tequila," with Smyers receiving two nods for Single of the Year, both as artist and producer. While the industry recognition is nice, Smyers admits it also adds to their nervousness leading up to the big day.
"I think we're kind of more nervous and anxious than we've ever been," Smyers told PopCulture.com. "Especially Shay. He's never nervous about it. I think it's mainly [because[ he has 18 family members that came to town for it. That's a lot of pressure from your friends back home. We're in the industry. We know how this all works, and we all work hard, and it's a family, and we all root for each other. But your family members back home are like, 'You guys have had a good year. I think this is it.' Every person who says that puts more pressure on you, and I know he's got 18 people in town."
Both Smyers and Mooney have been working harder than ever, so whether they win or lose, the nomination is validation for them that their hard work was worth it.
"We're trying to keep the nerves in check a little bit, and just enjoy it," Smyers said. "This has been a great year for us. It's changed our lives, ever since we put 'Tequila' out in January, and this has kind of been the first moment it's able to sink it. We've been on the road nonstop all year, and we're finally home in Nashville with all our peers, and people are coming up and saying, 'Man, you guys have had such a big year.' And that's kind of the moment when you start to feel like, okay this maybe was a big year. You lose perspective of it out on the road a little bit."
Dan + Shay share the Vocal Duo of the Year category with Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line, Maddie & Tae and Sugarland. They have been nominated a total of five times in the category, but have yet to take home the trophy. The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Jason Davis