NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mid-term elections are over, but the country's Best Country Song Contest is on the doors of the 2018 Country Music Association Awards.
The two categories – song of the year and song of the year – are similar, with three songs nominated in both categories, but the authors of the hit say that these awards are difficult to predict.
The nominees include a pop monster song that went country, country songs that became pop, a message song of the # MeToo era and, of course, songs to drink.
The song of the year is attributed to the songwriters, while the single of the year is awarded to the artist, the producer and the mixer.
The CMA Awards will be broadcast live on November 14 in Nashville, Tennessee. Here's a look at the nominees and nominees of the song of the year.
"Drowns the Whiskey" by Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, nominated for the single and the song of the year:
This song was originally designed for country singer Tyler Farr, says Josh Thompson, who co-wrote the song with Brandon Kinney and Jeff Middleton. When he did not realize Farr's album, Aldean grabbed it and turned it into hit # 1.
The three writers were on the road in 2013 when they wrote, staying up until 4:30 am while drinking whiskey to finish it, Thompson said.
"I strongly believe in the idea that you have to get into the character of your song," he said.
Thompson said that the turn of a whiskey song and the first line made it unique, but the production and transformation into a duet gave the song a new classic air.
"It feels both modern and timeless and the smoky notes of Miranda, sent by there, have just sent it through the roof," he said.
"Broken Halos" by Chris Stapleton, nominated for the single and the song of the year:
Mike Henderson has written with Stapleton for years, long before they were both in the Bluegrass group The Steeldrivers and long before Stapleton broke out with his solo debut in 2015, "Traveler".
"I was reading Keith Richards' biography and he had a chapter titled" Broken Halos "and as soon as I saw it, I was like" Whoa, title of the song, "Henderson said.
The song won the best Grammy country song earlier this year, making it a serious contender in both categories of CMA, and the emotional way she sings is what the song does.
"Many people have said that the song has special meaning for them: people who have lost a loved one, who have experienced a personal tragedy," said Henderson. "It seems to touch people, what you are trying to do as a songwriter."
"Tequila" by Dan + Shay, nominated for the title of single and song of the year:
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney really like tequila. They drink it on tour and at home, but the duo was not really looking for a festive song about getting drunk.
"So we reversed the trend," said Smyers. "The Tequila was basically the trigger that brought you back to a certain place, so it's a heartbreaking nostalgic song, which is a sort of wheelhouse of Dan + Shay."
The song, co-written with Nicolle Galyon and Jordan Reynolds, shifted from country radio to pop radio, reaching 21st in Billboard Hot 100. Smyers said he sees cross-success as a benefit to creating fans among people who have not traditionally listened to country music.
"This could be their gateway to the country," Smyers said. "They hear this song and say, 'I like it,' and then turn to the country channel."
"Meant to Be" by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line, nominated for one of the year's titles:
This is the song that dominated country music for the whole of 2018. This unparalleled monster success exceeded 1 billion streams, reached the status of four platinum and reached the second place in the Hot 100 charts.
Songwriter David Garcia wrote the song in Los Angeles with Rexha, Tyler Hubbard of FGL and singer-songwriter Josh Miller, which was originally released on EP 2017 of "All Your Fault: Pt 2. "
"There is a little more amalgamation of LA and Nashville now more than ever," Garcia said.
Garcia said he would love to see the song win the match, but do not bet. He credits the success of the song to the huge popularity of Rexha streaming.
But it's also a polarizing pretender, many saying it's not a real country song and that its cross-success could scare away some more traditional CMA voters.
Garcia said he was not concerned about these criticisms.
"I think we're in an incredible place where fans and listeners decide what their favorite songs are," he said. "I think the song is undeniable in what it is."
"Body Like a Back Road" by Sam Hunt, nominated for the song of the year, and "Drinkin 'Problem" from Midland, nominated for the unique of the year:
Both songs were created in part by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, a duo of producers of power composers, but they represent different spectra of the genre.
The success of Sam Hunt in 2017 has taken the next step and has become a five-fold success at the paced rhythm. But even McAnally admits to being a little surprised to see him again on the list of nominees after his defeat last year in the same category ("Better Man," written by Taylor Swift for Little Big Town, won the price).
Although it was not published during the eligibility period, Hunt's song was ranked in the second round as she remained in the top 5 of the single countries. The fact that "Body Like a Back Road" did not win a CMA award, despite having been nominated three times, suggests that pop crossovers may not be the key factor in winning.
"There is a race for five for this one," McAnally said of the year 's song. "There is no" Girl Crush "that looks like a steamroller. I just do not know who could win.
Meanwhile, Midland stood out as a neo-traditionalist group with "Drinkin 'Problem", a step back similar to that of George Strait.
"I would love to see him single year because of his traditional sound," said McAnally. "(Single of the year) is about commercial impact, but I always thought of it as the sound of the record."
"Drunk Girl" by Chris Janson, nominated for the song of the year:
Most country singers distance politically charged subjects, but during the # MeToo movement, Janson had a sharp message to send to men. "Bring the drunk girl home," he sings and goes away.
Janson said that he had written the song with Tom Douglas and Carusoe Scooter well before #MeToo's viral release last year, but with Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings this year, the song was relevant enough to be nominated.
"I'm not really a podium guy," said Janson. "I simply write what I write and sing what I sing. I strongly believe in the message and I am happy that it is a link ".
CMA voters love the message songs: Tim McGraw's Humble and Kind and Kacey Musgraves' Follow Your Arrow won because they had something important to say. But the brutal nature of the song made some critics think, especially when a New York column called it "missed #MeToo".
But Janson says he's not trying to please everyone.
"I've never really tried to sell this song to anyone or to push it in the throat," he said.
Follow Kristin M. Hall on Twitter.com/kmhall
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