Former ‘American Idol’ Finalist Receives Huge Accolade

American Idol

Getty Among this year's CMA Award nominees are several "American Idol" alums.

Gabby Barrett, who finished third on the sixteenth season of “American Idol”, is one of five artists being nominated for Artist of the Year at the CMT Music Awards.

The accolade may not come as a shock to Barrett’s fans. In April 2020, the artist’s single, “I Hope”, became the first debut single by a female to hit the top of Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs chart, according to

At the time, reported: “The song, which Barrett wrote with Zachary Kale and Jon Nite, ascends with a 7% increase to 9 million U.S. streams in the week ending April 2, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Who Else Was Nominated?

Along with Barrett, the other artists named 2021 CMT Artist of the Year are Christ Stapleton, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, and Luke Combs, according to

In a statement, CMT told that the honorees “collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, leading across all CMT platforms, scoring chart-topping albums and singles, while simultaneously finding creative ways to connect with fans and meet the personal and professional challenges posed by the pandemic.”

In addition to being an honoree as Artist of the Year, Barrett received an additional four nominations: new artist, female vocalist, single, and song of the year. According to People, both the latter nods are for her song, “The Good Ones.”

Barrett’s Thoughts on ‘I Hope’

In June 2021, Barrett opened up to People about whether or not she would be able to release the song “I Hope” today.

She replied, “I’d definitely write ‘I Hope’ differently, for sure.”

The singer, as reported by People, gave birth to her daughter, Baylah May, on January 18, 2021, and has been married to fellow “American Idol” alumn, Cade Foehner, for two years.

Barrett told the outlet what a whirlwind it’s all been, admitting, “It’s hard to look at everything when you’re moving at a million miles an hour. You’re not really able to enjoy it — or at least I wasn’t able to enjoy it and look at it as much as I could, and let everything sink in that was really happening with my work.”

She subsequently discussed what it feels like to actually allow herself to feel that sense of accomplishment. She shared, “I was crying happy tears about what’s been happening because I’ve been working so hard. It was just an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness.”

In an October 2021 interview with Music Mayhem Magazine, Barrett revealed she is working on her follow-up album to her debut album, Goldmine.

She explained, “Right now, I’m working on music for album number two. We’re writing and trying to get ready to try out the new songs for our upcoming shows.”

She said there is no release date as of yet for the new album, but admitted, “I’m definitely excited to release new music, whatever that will be.”

The CMT Awards will take place at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Wednesday, October 13, at 9 p.m. Eastern and 8 p.m. Central time.

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