Country Music News

Watch now: Kacey Musgraves appreciates being recognized for *her* version of country music

Watch now: Kacey Musgraves appreciates being recognized for *her* version of country musicABC/Randy HolmesKacey Musgraves is nominated for Album of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year going into Wednesday's CMA Awards.  Kacey's album Golden Hour has been one of the most universally acclaimed releases of the year, but it's not exactly what you'd call a "country" album. That's why Kacey says she's so honored to have been nominated.

"For my version of country music to be recognized is really meaningful to me because I love where the genre came from," Kacey tells ABC Radio. "And to be able to be someone that's recognized in modern country, I mean, that's a goal for me. Y'know, I love country music. So it's really cool."

Kacey says that Golden Hour is different from her other releases because it's her "most personal record yet."

"I don't think I've really let people in on an emotional scale this way very much," she explains. "I've never really talked much about my feelings, and falling in love, and meeting the right person, and talking about my flaws, and being lonely, coming off the road and missing my mom...I've never had songs like that. And it was really nice."

As for the Female Vocalist category, Kacey hates to think that that she's competing with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini to find out who's "better."

"Awards shows are silly because no one's 'better' than the other," she says. "That's not what music is about. Art is very subjective...everyone's different and that's what's cool about it...everyone's obviously winning and doing her own thing!"

That being said, Kacey admits that she doesn't actually consider herself to be "much of a vocalist" -- so, she says, "To be in a category with some really great singers is a big compliment."

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Watch now: CMA nominee Lauren Alaina looks back on her "crazy" year of "pinch-me" moments

Watch now: CMA nominee Lauren Alaina looks back on her "crazy" year of "pinch-me" momentsABC/Image Group LALauren Alaina is the only female artist nominated in the Best New Artist category at this Wednesday night's CMA Awards.  While she'd like to win, she thinks she doesn't have much chance, especially against one particular nominee in her category.

"I got to tour all summer with Luke Combs and the force that is Luke Combs is unstoppable," Lauren tells ABC Radio. "And I just got to witness what he's done first-hand every night.  I would obviously love to win but I'm really proud to represent the ladies, and just to be nominated at all.  It's been a really amazing year."

And what are some of the things Lauren's done that have made this year amazing?

"I was able to go out on the road and feel the difference, to see it first-hand with the fans, and to feel the impact that we've had. And I got engaged!" she laughs. "It's just been a lot of pinch-me moments.  And then winning the ACM and now to be nominated as [CMA] Best New Artist, I'm just really proud. It's been really crazy."

But while Lauren's thrilled to be nominated there's something she says she'd like to see next year.  "How amazing would it if next year, in the [New Artist] category, there's one male and four females?" she asks.

Even if she doesn't win Wednesday night, Lauren's got a few more things to celebrate: Her duet with Kane Brown, "What Ifs," has just gone quadruple platinum, and Kane recorded a song she co-wrote for his new album, Experiment.

"That's a big moment for me!" she laughs. 

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Watch now: CMA nominee Lauren Alaina looks back on her "crazy" year of "pinch-me" moments

Watch now: CMA nominee Lauren Alaina looks back on her "crazy" year of "pinch-me" momentsABC/Image Group LALauren Alaina is the only female artist nominated in the Best New Artist category at this Wednesday night's CMA Awards.  While she'd like to win, she thinks she doesn't have much chance, especially against one particular nominee in her category.

"I got to tour all summer with Luke Combs and the force that is Luke Combs is unstoppable," Lauren tells ABC Radio. "And I just got to witness what he's done first-hand every night.  I would obviously love to win but I'm really proud to represent the ladies, and just to be nominated at all.  It's been a really amazing year."

And what are some of the things Lauren's done that have made this year amazing?

"I was able to go out on the road and feel the difference, to see it first-hand with the fans, and to feel the impact that we've had. And I got engaged!" she laughs. "It's just been a lot of pinch-me moments.  And then winning the ACM and now to be nominated as [CMA] Best New Artist, I'm just really proud. It's been really crazy."

But while Lauren's thrilled to be nominated there's something she says she'd like to see next year.  "How amazing would it if next year, in the [New Artist] category, there's one male and four females?" she asks.

Even if she doesn't win Wednesday night, Lauren's got a few more things to celebrate: Her duet with Kane Brown, "What Ifs," has just gone quadruple platinum, and Kane recorded a song she co-wrote for his new album, Experiment.

"That's a big moment for me!" she laughs. 

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Watch now: Brett Young on his "fairy-tale" wedding, "fantastic" honeymoon and "validating" CMA nomination

Watch now: Brett Young on his "fairy-tale" wedding, "fantastic" honeymoon and "validating" CMA nominationABC/Image Group LABrett Young married his longtime girlfriend Taylor Mills earlier this month in California, but he's returned from his honeymoon in enough time to attend the CMA Awards on Wednesday, where he's up for New Artist of the Year.  He tells ABC Radio his wedding couldn't have gone better -- thanks to Taylor.

"She did such a good job planning the wedding...I'm glad I stayed out of it as much as I did, 'cause it was a lot of fun surprises for me throughout the day," he laughs. 

The wedding day, which featured 81 degree weather, sunshine and a waterfall, was "just literally fairy-tale and perfect," says Brett.

Adding to the festivities were performances by Luke Combs, Lee Brice and Gavin DeGraw.  Brett sang too, but he admits, "I got super-emotional and forgot lyrics and screwed up the song...it was just a nightmare!"  Luckily, everyone was still talking about how great Luke, Lee and Gavin were so, he says, nobody really noticed.

The couple's honeymoon was almost a nightmare, too -- until they made a bold move.

"We went to the Virgin Islands and it rained for three days straight!" Brett tells ABC Radio.  "We finally went, 'O.K., we just gotta go somewhere where it's sunny.' So I found a non-stop flight from St. Croix to Miami...and we ended up having three amazing days on the beach...it was fantastic!"

Also fantastic? Brett's nomination, which he says has given him "a sense of validation."

But, he notes, "When you're up against so much talent, it's one of those things where if you actually do sneak away with [the award], it feels like you stole one, a little bit!"

Tune in to see if Brett steals the award Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Watch now: Brett Young on his "fairy-tale" wedding, "fantastic" honeymoon and "validating" CMA nomination

Watch now: Brett Young on his "fairy-tale" wedding, "fantastic" honeymoon and "validating" CMA nominationABC/Image Group LABrett Young married his longtime girlfriend Taylor Mills earlier this month in California, but he's returned from his honeymoon in enough time to attend the CMA Awards on Wednesday, where he's up for New Artist of the Year.  He tells ABC Radio his wedding couldn't have gone better -- thanks to Taylor.

"She did such a good job planning the wedding...I'm glad I stayed out of it as much as I did, 'cause it was a lot of fun surprises for me throughout the day," he laughs. 

The wedding day, which featured 81 degree weather, sunshine and a waterfall, was "just literally fairy-tale and perfect," says Brett.

Adding to the festivities were performances by Luke Combs, Lee Brice and Gavin DeGraw.  Brett sang too, but he admits, "I got super-emotional and forgot lyrics and screwed up the song...it was just a nightmare!"  Luckily, everyone was still talking about how great Luke, Lee and Gavin were so, he says, nobody really noticed.

The couple's honeymoon was almost a nightmare, too -- until they made a bold move.

"We went to the Virgin Islands and it rained for three days straight!" Brett tells ABC Radio.  "We finally went, 'O.K., we just gotta go somewhere where it's sunny.' So I found a non-stop flight from St. Croix to Miami...and we ended up having three amazing days on the beach...it was fantastic!"

Also fantastic? Brett's nomination, which he says has given him "a sense of validation."

But, he notes, "When you're up against so much talent, it's one of those things where if you actually do sneak away with [the award], it feels like you stole one, a little bit!"

Tune in to see if Brett steals the award Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Watch now: CMA nominees Lady Antebellum look forward to watching new stars, hugging old friends and rooting for Kelsea Ballerini at this year’s show

Watch now: CMA nominees Lady Antebellum look forward to watching new stars, hugging old friends and rooting for Kelsea Ballerini at this year's showABC/Image Group LALady Antebellum are up for Vocal Group of the Year at Wednesday's CMA Awards.  They've been attending the show for about a decade now and Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott say there are certain things they look forward to seeing on the show each year.

"Seeing these new artists, I think...'cause this is what these shows are, to me -- to break new artists, and to show people, 'This is the new crop,'" Charles tells ABC Radio.  "And also, you're always excited to see Keith Urban and our buddy Luke [Bryan] and see what they do...there's so many [things] to look forward to!"

Hillary Scott adds that personally, she's excited to attend the CMA Awards so she can spend time with their fellow artists, who they rarely get to see.

"We all tour kinda at the same time, we're never in the same place at the same time except on nights like this," she explains. "So to be able to hug a lot of my best girlfriends and say hi, it's really special."

One of those girlfriends Hillary's looking forward to seeing is Kelsea Ballerini.  Lady A brought her out on tour with them when she was up-and-coming, and now she's nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year.

"I'm so unbelievably proud for her and everything that's going on...her poise, and her record," gushes Hillary. "And obviously she's like a baby sister to me, so I'm rooting for her for sure!" 

Tune in Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on ABC. to see if Lady A can beat out young upstarts Old Dominion, LANCO and Midland to capture the Vocal Group of the Year trophy for a fourth time.

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