Two ‘American Idol’ Alums Are CMA New Artist of the Year Nominees

American Idol

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

The nominees for the 55th annual Country Music Association Awards (CMA Awards) have officially been announced.

Among the nominees for the prestigious New Artist of the Year award are two “Americal Idol” alums, Gabby Barrett and Mickey Guyton. Both women appeared in season 16 in 2018. Barrett came in third place, placing behind runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and winner Maddie Poppe.

Guyton made it to the Hollywood rounds but did make it into the top 24. She has since left her mark on the music industry. Her 2020 single “Black Like Me” was nominated for a Grammy, making Guyton the first Black woman to receive a nomination for Best Country Solo Performance. Guyton performed the single with Alyssa Wray at the 2021 “American Idol” finale.

New Artist of the Year is one of four CMA Award nominations for Barrett. She was also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Song of the Year.

“CANT HANDLE IT!!!!!! Thank you is an understatement. 4 CMA nominations. Dream come true. God is gracious,” Barrett wrote on Instagram.

Another Nominee Was Mentored By an ‘Idol’ Judge

“Ladylike” singer Ingrid Andress is also nominated for New Artist of the Year. When Andress was studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, she met former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi. Impressed by Andress’s songwriting chops, DioGuardi signed Andress to a publishing deal in Nashville.

“I’ve known Ingrid for a long time now. … She was my student and now I see her on late night shows (but she) still is the Ingrid I know,” DioGuardi told ABC News.

Andress teared up at the end of her performance of “More Hearts Than Mine” at last year’s CMA Awards. In the Grammy-Award nominated song, Andress warns a new romantic interest that if the relationship ends, her family will be just as heartbroken as her.

Morgan Wallen Nominated After Using Racial Slur in 2020

Morgan Wallen received an Album of the Year nomination for “Dangerous: the Double Album.” In February 2021, a video of Wallen using the N-word to describe a drunken friend was obtained by TMZ.

As a result of the video, Wallen’s label suspended him and he was not eligible for consideration for the 2021 ACM Awards. Despite this, Billboard reported that Wallen’s streams and album sales surged, even as he got no radio play. Wallen took to Instagram to ask his fans not to defend his actions.

“I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. But for today, please don’t. I was wrong. I fully accept any penalties I’m facing,” he said. Wallen donated $500,000 of the album’s profits to Black charities.

“Me and my team noticed that whenever this whole incident happened, that there was a spike in my sales. So we tried to calculate what the number of how much it spiked from this incident, and we got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organizations,” Wallen said on “Good Morning America.

The CMA Awards will air on November 10, 2021, on ABC. The full list of CMA Award nominees is available on the CMA Awards website.

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