The nominations for the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards were announced this week, and Eric Church and Chris Stapleton lead the field with five nominations each. But it's the emergence of names like Brett Eldredge, Thomas Rhett and Cam that suggests a new crop of country award contenders is on the horizon.
The smooth-voiced Eldredge achieved his first ever nomination in the Male Vocalist of the Year category, in addition to his showing in the New Male Vocalist race. Both are validation for the Illinois native, who has scored hits like "Don't Ya" and "Lose My Mind" and has been a consistent tour draw, most recently co-headlining the CMT on Tour trek with Thomas Rhett.
Rhett also made a strong showing when the nominations were announced, landing an Album of the Year nod for his second album Tangled Up. He also scored a New Male Vocalist nomination, as well as a nomination for his song "Die a Happy Man," which is up for Single Record of the Year.
The ACM Awards will be held April 3rd in Las Vegas, airing live on CBS.