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Brantley Gilbert, Jana Kramer: ACM Awards Competition Is Friendly

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Jana Kramer and Brantley Gilbert are both up for New Artist of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, the first time a couple has been nominated against each other in this category. Brantley jokes with The Boot that it’s been “a house divided” ever since the news of their nominations came out.

“I’m just kidding,” he hastens to assure. “We’ve very supportive of each other. I’m pulling for her and she’s pulling for me. It’s a pretty neat deal. It was interesting at first to see how it would play out, but we talked about it and we’re excited to be nominated and be a part of it.”

Jana and Brantley knew of the possibility when they both ended up in New Female Artist and New Male Artist categories. The winner of each of those categories, plus Florida Georgia Line as the New Vocal Duo or Group, make up the three final nominees for New Artist of the Year. Fans voted for the final nominees.

Once Brantley found out he was in the finals, he texted Jana to see if she had heard anything. Not wanting to hurt her feelings if she didn’t get the nomination, he didn’t immediately tell her that he had won his category.

“I was in my truck, leaving the studio, and I got a text,” Brantley reveals. “I was surprised; it’s an honor to be nominated, and like last year we were super stoked. So I texted Jana and said, ‘Have you heard anything?’ She texted back, asking if I’d heard anything. Finally I just said to her, ‘Did you get it?’ She said yes and I texted, ‘Well I did too!’”

Interestingly enough, all the final nominees are linked in some way. Jana and Brantley as an engaged couple, and Brantley with Florida Georgia Line as labelmates. “Looking at the company I’m in, it wouldn’t bother me if Florida Georgia line won, because we’re on the same label,” Brantley says. “If Jana wins, the award will come to the same house, so however it works out is fine with me.”

All three nominees will perform on the awards show. They will also join Brad Paisley for the third Annual ACM Fan Jam and post-award concert.

The 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Sunday at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.

Watch Brantley Gilbert’s ‘More Than Miles’ Video

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