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Ballerini, Stapleton, Old Dominion win ACM new artist honors

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 – Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and Old Dominion were named today the New Male, Female Duo/Group of the Year respectively by the Academy Of Country Music Awards.

These awards mark the first-ever ACM Award wins for Ballerini, Stapleton and Old Dominion. Ballerini is also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Stapleton leads the ACM nominations with six additional nods, including Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, and Old Dominion received a nomination for Vocal Group of the Year.

This is part of a great stretch for Stapleton, whose "Traveller" debut CD has topped the charts for many weeks. He was a surprise winner of three Country Music Association awards in November. Stapleton took the honor over Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Chase Rice and Chris Janson.

Ballerini, a Tennessee native with hits including "Dibs" and "Love Me Like You Mean It," won over Cam, Mickey Guyton and RaeLynn.

Old Dominion, which has hits with "Snapback" and "Break Up With Him," beat out A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne, Maddie & Tae and Parmalee.

Previously fan-voted, the newcomer categories are now all incorporated into the professional membership voting process this year.

The awards, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on April 3 at 8 p.m. live eastern/delayed Pacific on CBS.

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CD reviews

From A Room: Volume 2 CD review - From A Room: Volume 2
There is no bigger artist in country music today, perhaps even in American music, than Chris Stapleton. His appeal reaches beyond just the commercial country fans for his gritty bluesy approach. 2015's "Traveller" set a high bar, which was met by this year's release of "From A Room: Volume 1," which won Album of the Year in the 51st CMA Awards. Stapleton also garnered the Male Vocalist of the Year for his second time. Now seven months after that release, "From »»»
Unapologetically CD review - Unapologetically
It already seems like Kelsea Ballerini is a fixture on the scene, but America's barely had time to blink since her debut, "The First Time." Four major singles, a headlining tour and an armful of awards are just some of the harvest that followed. Some of that star power exceeds musical gifts - Ballerini has that insta-charm that makes her a ready TV guest or host. She's from Tennessee and smiles for miles. But she also gives off a wiser, worldlier vibe than many others of her »»»
Happy Endings CD review - Happy Endings
Right off the bat, the title of Old Dominion's album "Happy Endings" is far better than "Meat and Candy," its prior effort. ("Meat" in an album title? Really?) But also on an artistic level, OD's follow-up shows signs of growth. With that said, though, there's nothing on this new release as immediately catchy as "Snapback." Nevertheless, the vocal-only harmonies introducing "Not Everything's About You," are a beautiful thing. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Henry comes out the other end a better man – Joe Henry mentioned at the outset that this show was not only the record release celebration, but also the anniversary - to the day - of when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although the songs from this fine new album do not address his illness directly, they many times touch upon the big issues of human existence (life, death and the meaning of it all).... »»»
Concert Review: What's in a name? Strings lives up to it – Billy Strings may not be his real name, but the bluegrass performer more than lives up to his adopted moniker. Bluegrass may not be the first style of music when one thinks of William Apostol's (yup, that's Billy's real name) home state of Michigan, but with more miles on the bus and shows like this outstanding, lengthy, lyrical night... »»»
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