Sturgill Simpson made a notable showing atop the Nashville Scene‘s recently released 15th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll, as the first artist without a Top 40 Country single to top the critics’ Album list. Simpson released his successful Metamodern Sounds in Country Music last year on his own label, High Top Mountain/Thirty Tigers), though he recently announced a deal with major label Atlantic Records.
Country music critics entered their nominations in a range of categories, including the top Artists of the Year, live acts, duo/group, male vocalists, female vocalists, songwriters and more.
Simpson narrowly beat singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert for the top Album title by a razor-thin margin of a single vote. Lambert’s Platinum project (RCA) earned the No. 2 ranking.
Simpson also garnered the Best Male Vocalist honor, and the top Songwriter designation this year as well.
Lambert took home the overall Artist of the Year title. She earned the title by a comfortable margin over runner-up Simpson, with Eric Church, Rosanne Cash, and Lee Ann Womack rounding out the Top 5. Lambert was also honored with the Female Vocalist honor.
Newcomers Maddie & Tae earned Song of the Year honors for the brave anti-bro country hit “Girl In A Country Song,” while Little Big Town earned top Duo/Group.
Eric Church, who recently brought his The Outsiders tour to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, earned the top Live Act honor. He also earned nods as the runner-up to Sturgill in the Best Male Vocalist category, and No. 3 Best Artist based on the success of his album, The Outsiders.
Singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley earned the New Act of the Year, followed closely by Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Parker Milsap, and Simpson rounding out the Top 5.
Here are some of the results:
1. Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (High Top Mountain/Thirty Tigers)
2. Miranda Lambert, Platinum (RCA)
3. Lee Ann Womack, The Way I’m Livin’ (Sugar Hill)
4. Rosanne Cash, The River and the Thread (Blue Note)
5. Angaleena Presley, American Middle Class (Slate Creek/Thirty Tigers)
1. Maddie and Tae, “Girl in a Country Song” (Republic/Dot)
2. Miranda Lambert, “Automatic” (RCA)
3. Eric Church, “Give Me Back My Hometown” (EMI Nashville)
4. Lee Ann Womack, “The Way I’m Livin'” (Sugar Hill)
5. Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane” (Capitol Nashville)
1. Sturgill Simpson
2. Rosanne Cash
3. Shane McAnally
4. Angaleena Presley
5. Brandy Clark
Artists of the Year
1. Miranda Lambert
2. Sturgill Simpson
3. Eric Church
4. Rosanne Cash
5. Lee Ann Womack
6. Little Big Town
7. George Strait
8. Blake Shelton
9. Angaleena Presley
10. Dierks Bentley
For the complete lists, visit Nashville Scene.
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