The Country Nominee Roundup

(For a complete list of 54th GRAMMY Awards nominees, click here.)

I sure hope y'all tuned in to "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" I am still on a high from such a great night of music! The Band Perry turned in a flawless performance, highlighting country music on such a big stage. Jason Aldean also got some time, performing his mega-hit "Dirt Road Anthem" with GRAMMY-winning rapper Ludacris. Did you hear the reaction from the crowd? They got a huge ovation, which left me feeling validated in my appreciation for Aldean. I know he's great, the rest of country music knows he's great, and it is high time the rest of the music world know that he's great too! The last country performance of the night came from Sugarland, who closed the show singing a duet with Lady Gaga. As always, Jennifer Nettles' vocals were breathtaking and I was beyond proud for the rest of the world to see Sugarland owning the stage alongside one of the world's biggest stars. What an amazing night for country music — those three performances showed the rest of the music community how mushc talent we truly have in Music City!

The most exciting moment of the night happened once the live TV special wrapped and the full list of 54th GRAMMY nominees was released. In my first blog I predicted Aldean, Eric Church and Blake Shelton would all come into the GRAMMY spotlight soon and I'm happy to say that I was right! Out of these three, I was most surprised by Church's nomination for Best Country Album for Chief. Although I know he's a deserving nominee, I wasn't sure if he was on the radar of Recording Academy voters. I'm ridiculously happy for Aldean and his team at Broken Bow Records. They say that "slow and steady wins the race" and his path to success definitely follows that mantra. All of the hard work by Aldean's team is coming full circle and I'm so happy to see them in the spotlight.

My biggest satisfaction came in seeing Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter (along with writers Matraca Berg and Deana Carter) nominated for their duet "You And Tequila." The song scored nods for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Perfomance. Before its release as a single, Chesney fans instantly fell in love with this song upon the release of his 2010 album Hemingway's Whiskey album. Amazingly, I heard 60,000 people sing this song back to Chesney at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

A trio of GRAMMY "veterans" picked up nominations, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Newcomers the Civil Wars also scored a nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the title track off their debut album, Barton Hollow.

I wish I had room in this post to go on and on about all of the nominees as I have kind words and thoughts about each one of them. They're all so deserving and I admire them even more in seeing their names recognized among the most talented artists in the world. The GRAMMYs are as big as it gets for music and to see Nashville talent in the spotlight fills me with pride!

Let the countdown to the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards begin!

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