Sunday could be a big night for country music artists from Kentucky, and we’re not just talking about the Pride of Johnson County, Chris Stapleton.
The reigning king of the country albums chart is up for eight honors at the 53rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, including the top prize: entertainer of the year. He’s also a contender for male vocalist of the year, album of the year for “From A Room: Volume 1” (nominated as artist and producer), single record of the year for “Broken Halos” (artist and producer) and song of the year for “Whiskey and You” (artist and songwriter).
He’s closely followed by future Rupp Arena visitor Thomas Rhett, who has six nominations and helped facilitate one of the other Kentucky nominations: Nicholasville’s TK McKamy for video of the year with Rhett’s “Marry Me.”
Kentucky’s shadow major nominee is Virgie native Josh Osborne, a songwriter who is up for song of the year for co-writing Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road.” Osborne also made his producing debut with Midland this year, which makes him a single record of the year nominee as the producer of “Drinkin’ Problem.” Midland already won new vocal group or duo of the year, and as their producer, Osborne certainly deserves a nod for that, even if he doesn’t get an award.
Osborne is also a songwriter of the year nominee, along with Danville native Ashley Gorley.
The Academy of Country Music Awards are on at 8 p.m. Sunday (April 15) on CBS, WKYT-TV 27 (Spectrum Ch. 9) in Lexington.
Rich Copley, @copiousnotes