Category 1: Producer of the Year

—To honor a Nashville producer’s work on albums active during the eligibility period. Achievements may include, but are not limited to, single chart performance and album sales.


[ ] Buddy Cannon

(Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss, Aaron Lewis, Willie Nelson, Randy Rogers Band)

[ ] Ross Copperman

(Dierks Bentley, Brett Eldredge, Trent Harmon, Ryan Kinder, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Drake White, Eli Young Band)

[ ] Dann Huff

(Kane Brown, Billy Currington, The Cadillac Three, Delta Rae, Ryan Follese, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride, Midland, Thomas Rhett, Steven Tyler, Keith Urban, Brett Young)

[X ] Jay Joyce

(Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, Eric Church, Devin Dawson, LANCO, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, The Wild Feathers)

[ ] Frank Liddell

(Derik Hultquist, Miranda Lambert, David Nail, Aubrie Sellers, Charlie Worsham)

Category 2: Breakthrough Songwriter

—To honor a Nashville songwriter who wrote or co-wrote a Top 10 song for the first time. In addition, the qualifying song was not recorded by the nominated songwriter.


Downtown (ASCAP) “She’s Got A Way With Words,” recorded by Blake Shelton; “If The Boot Fits,” recorded by Granger Smith

[ ] Kurt Allison

Magic Mustang Music, Makena Cove Music (ASCAP) “Seein’ Red” recorded by Dustin Lynch

[ ] Kelly Archer

Stars And Stripes, Maple Leaf Music, Downtown (BMI) “Sleep Without You,” recorded by Brett Young

[ ] Thomas Archer

MV2 Entertaintment (BMI) “Hurricane,” recorded by Luke Combs

[ ] Justin Ebach

Wordcountry, Warner/Chappell (SESAC) “Sleep Without You,” recorded by Brett Young

[X ] Jesse Lee

Parallel (SESAC) “Peter Pan,” recorded by Kelsea Ballerini

[ ] Josh Mirenda

Cornman Music, Warner/Chappell (ASCAP) “Somewhere On A Beach,” recorded by Dierks Bentley

[ ] Jamie Moore

Big Loud (ASCAP) “May We All,” recorded by Florida Georgia Line ft Tim McGraw

[ ] Steven Lee Olsen

Cornman Music, Warner/Chappell (ASCAP) “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” recorded by Keith Urban

[ ] Taylor Phillips

InTune Entertainment (BMI) “Hurricane,” recorded by Luke Combs

[ ] Jordan Schmidt

Tree Vibez, Warner/Chappell (ASCAP) “Lights Come On,” recorded by Jason Aldean; “If The Boot Fits,” recorded by Granger Smith

[ ] Jason Sever

Little Champion Music, Warner/Chappell (ASCAP) “Seein’ Red,” recorded by Dustin Lynch

[ ] Abe Stoklasa

Big Yellow Dog (ASCAP) “Fix,” recorded by Chris Lane; “Brand New,” recorded by Ben Rector

[ ] Daniel Tashian

Big Yellow Dog (BMI) “Hometown Girl,” recorded by Josh Turner

[ ] Josh Thompson

Big Music Machine, Two Lane Collections (BMI) “Any Ol’ Barstool,” recorded by Jason Aldean

[ ] Michael Tyler

peermusic (SESAC) “Somewhere On A Beach,” recorded by Dierks Bentley

[ ] Emily Weisband

THiS Music, Warner/Chappell (ASCAP) “Thy Will,” recorded by Hillary Scott and The Scott Family

Category 3: Breakthrough Artist-Writer

—To honor a Nashville songwriter and artist who for the first time wrote or co-wrote a Top 10 song, which they also recorded.


[X ] Lauren Alaina

“Road Less Traveled”

Warner/Chappell (BMI)

[ ] Tucker Beathard

“Rock On”

Big Music Machine, Fade 49 Music (BMI)

[ ] Luke Combs


Big Music Machine, 50 Egg Music, Straight Dimes Publishing, (BMI)

[ ] Jon Pardi

“Head Over Boots”

The Song Factory, admin by Sony/ATV (BMI)

[ ] Brett Young

“Sleep Without You” and “In Case You Didn’t Know”

Super Big Music, Caliville Publishing, admin by Big Machine Music (ASCAP)

Category 4: Song of the Year

(awards to writers and publishers)—To honor writers & publishers on the craft of songwriting, not necessarily chart position.


[X ] “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

Recorded by: Keith Urban

Writers: Steven Lee Olsen, Hillary Lindsey, Clint Lagerberg

Publishers: WB Music Corp., Music Of The Corn, Rezolution Music, BMG Gold Songs, House Of Sea Gayle Music, Spirit Catalog Holdings, S.a.r.l./Spirit Two Nashville, ASCAP

[ ] “Kill A Word”

Recorded by: Eric Church ft Rhiannon Giddens

Writers: Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Luke Dick

Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Longer And Louder Music, Little Louder Songs, Mammaw’s Fried Okra Music, Emileon Songs, BMI

[ ] “Leaving Nashville”

Recorded by: Charles Kelley

Writers: Abe Stoklasa, Donovan Woods

Publishers: Year of the Dog Music (Big Yellow Dog) administered by Words & Music, Shakapublishing, administered by Downtown DLJ Songs, ASCAP

[ ] “Vice”

Recorded by: Miranda Lambert

Writers: Miranda Lambert, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally

Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Pink Dog Publishing, Smack Hits, GMR/Kobalt Music Group Ltd., GMR/Anderson Fork In The Road Music, Kobalt Music Publishing America, Inc., Smackville Music, ASCAP, BMI

[ ] “Wanna Be That Song”

Recorded by: Brett Eldredge

Writers: Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Scooter Carusoe

Publishers: Sony/ATV Countryside, Paris Not France Music, EMI Blackwood, Rezonant, Scrambler Music, Abbotts Creek Music Two, Carnival, ASCAP, BMI

Category 5: Breakthrough Artist

–To honor a Nashville artist who achieved significant career progress for the first time.


[ ] Lauren Alaina

UMG Nashville

[ ] William Michael Morgan

Warner Music Nashville

[X ] Maren Morris

Sony Music Nashville

[ ] Jon Pardi

UMG Nashville

[ ] Brett Young

Big Machine Label Group