POLL: Who Should Win New Artist of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards?
Winning New Artist of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards would be a huge deal for any of this year's nominated artists. Each singer brings something a little different to the table, so it will be interesting to see who pulls ahead in the end.
Sam Hunt brings an R&B flair to his brand of country music, and his sound is certainly one of the most unique out there right now. His first single, "Leave the Night On," has been certified double platinum, and when his full-length debut, Montevallo, was released in November of 2014, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and No. 3 on the all-genre chart. He's earned three consecutive platinum singles, and as the first country artist to have all of the singles from a debut record peak in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Hunt has proved his crossover appeal.
Female duo Maddie & Tae bring talent, youth and impeccable writing skills to the country arena. Their lead single, "Girl in a Country Song," was certified platinum, hit No. 1 and became the first single by a female duo to enter the Country Airplay chart's Top 10 since 2007. Their album, Start Here, debuted at No. 2 on the Country Albums chart at No. 9 on the all-genre chart.
Thomas Rhett released "Crash and Burn" in April, and when it hit No. 1 on the country charts, it was his fastest-rising single to date -- and his fourth consecutive No. 1 song. His second studio album, Tangled Up, hit the shelves in September. This fall, Rhett will be co-headlining the 2015 CMT on Tour with fellow country singer Brett Eldredge, who won New Artist of the Year in 2014.
Chris Stapleton is nominated for three CMA Awards, including Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. He has written hit songs for numerous other country acts, but his own debut record, Traveller, was released at the beginning of May with Mercury Nashville. The 14-track record peaked at No. 2 on the country charts and No. 14 on the Billboard 200.
Finally, new artist Kelsea Ballerini is in contention for New Artist of the Year. She has Taylor Swift's nod of approval, and she's burst onto the country scene in a hurry. Her debut single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," was released in October of 2014, was recently certified gold and hit No. 1 in June, making Ballerini the first solo female artist to have her debut single hit the top of the charts since Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" in 2006. Ballerini's debut album, The First Time, came out in May.
Who do you think should take home New Artist of the Year at the 2015 CMA Awards? Vote as often as once per hour through 11:59PM ET on Oct. 31. We’ll tabulate the results and use them for our 2015 CMA Awards winners predictions the week before the show.
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