Luke Bryan Leads 2016 American Country Countdown Awards Finalists

Luke Bryan Leads 2016 American Country Countdown Awards Finalists

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Luke Bryan Leads 2016 American Country Countdown Awards Finalists news

Luke Bryan leads finalists for the 2016 American Country Countdown Awards, appearing in seven categories. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As he did with the event’s inaugural staging, Luke Bryan leads the list of finalists for the 2016 American Country Countdown Awards, which were announced earlier today. The superstar appears in seven total categories, including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (“Strip It Down”) and Album of the Year (Kill the Lights). Sam Hunt appears in five of the finalist categories, while Zac Brown Band and Thomas Rhett each appear in four.

Sam Hunt, whose blockbuster Montevallo has spawned series of crossover hits, is also a contender for Artist of the Year, as well as Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. Zac Brown Band’s ambitious Jekyll + Hyde is also an Album of the Year Finalist and the talented crew is up for Group/Duo of the Year. Spurred by the success of his single “Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett is a hopeful for Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year.

Chris Stapleton, who recently tied an ACM Awards record by taking home six trophies, only appears in one category for Album of the Year (for Traveller), but that’s where the ACC Awards distinction between “finalists” and “nominees” is important to note. Finalists are based on “radio airplay charts, sales and streaming data” from April 1st, 2015 to March 28th, 2016 and no voting — membership or public — takes place. While Traveller has experienced explosive sales in the wake of his CMA Awards performance with Justin Timberlake, Stapleton’s radio play has yet to eclipse that of finalists Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean.

The Awards, based on the long-running syndicated radio program now hosted by Kix Brooks, had its inaugural run in 2014 and, after skipping 2015, will return on May 1st. This year’s show, which features performances from Female Vocalist of the Year finalist Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and others, will air live from the Forum in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. 

Artist of the Year
Blake Shelton
Florida Georgia Line
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Sam Hunt  

Male Vocalist of the Year
Blake Shelton
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Sam Hunt
Thomas Rhett 

Female Vocalist of the Year
Cam
Carrie Underwood
Jana Kramer
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert 

Group/Duo of the Year
A Thousand Horses
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band 

Breakthrough Male of the Year
Chris Janson
Michael Ray
Sam Hunt  

Breakthrough Female of the Year
Cam
Jana Kramer
Kelsea Ballerini 

Breakthrough Group/Duo of the Year
A Thousand Horses
Dan + Shay
Old Dominion  

Song of the Year
“Stay A Little Longer” – Brothers Osborne
“Home Alone Tonight” – Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild
“Strip It Down” – Luke Bryan
“Die A Happy Man” – Thomas Rhett
“Homegrown” – Zac Brown Band 

Album of the Year
Storyteller – Carrie Underwood
Traveller – Chris Stapleton
Kill the Lights – Luke Bryan
Montevallo – Sam Hunt
Jekyll + Hyde – Zac Brown Band 

Digital Song of the Year
“Girl Crush” – Little Big Town
“Kick The Dust Up” – Luke Bryan
“Die A Happy Man” – Thomas Rhett 

Digital Album of the Year
Anything Goes – Florida Georgia Line
Montevallo – Sam Hunt
Tangled Up – Thomas Rhett

Touring Artist of the Year
Garth Brooks
Kenny Chesney
Luke Bryan
Shania Twain
Zac Brown Band

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