The Academy of Country Music and Great American Country (GAC) announced this morning (3/16) that Luke Bryan, Gloriana and Joey + Rory have been named Top New Solo Vocalist, Top New Vocal Group and Top New Vocal Duo, respectively. The three winners will move on to compete for the Top New Artist award, which will be given out at the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sun., April 18. The show will be broadcast live on CBS at 7 PM/CT from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
All three are first time ACM Award winners. The awards were chosen via online fan voting, and all of these winners went to extra lengths to drive their followers to the polls. Bryan recruited celebrity friends for a campaign video and placed it online. Joey + Rory wrote a song for the occasion and posted it on the web. Gloriana—who has been touring with social media queen Taylor Swift—has long used web initiatives to engage fans.
Each winner will perform and receive their trophy on the Trace Adkins-hosted GAC special “ACM Top New Artists,” premiering Thursday, April 1 at 9:00 PM/CT and airing multiple times before the Academy of Country Music Awards. For the first time ever, the special will be taped during the regularly-scheduled Tuesday Night Opry at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Voting for overall Top New Artist will take place at www.VoteACM.com powered by CBS.com beginning Thursday, April 1 and will end at 7 PM/CT on Sunday, April 18.
More on the winners:
Luke Bryan released his sophomore album, Doin’ My Thing, on Capitol Records Nashville in October 2009, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The CD includes his #1 gold single “Do I” and new smash hit “Rain Is A Good Thing.” Bryan is currently headlining his own dates as well as opening for Jason Aldean on the “Wide Open Tour” and will be a featured act on Miranda Lambert’s upcoming spring tour.
Gloriana’s self-titled album debuted at #2 on the Billboard Country Album Chart and #3 on Billboard’s Top 200 and was the best selling debut by a country group in 2009. It includes hit singles “Wild At Heart,” “How Far Do You Wanna Go?” and their current single “The World Is Ours Tonight.” The group, who won the fan-voted Breakthrough Artist Award at the American Music Awards, is currently on tour with Taylor Swift. Gloriana is a four-member vocal group featuring brothers Tom and Mike Gossin along with Rachel Reinert and Cheyenne Kimball.
Winner of Top New Vocal Duo, Joey + Rory, have a huge year ahead of them. They have already started on a U.S. arena tour and will release their sophomore album simply titled Album #2 in the summer. Husband and wife duo Joey + Rory started performing as a duo for the audition of the CMT series, “Can You Duet,” in early 2008.