The Grammy Awards aren't known for throwing many bones to the underdogs of the music biz... but next year's ceremony, which airs live on February 8th, might be an exception.
Today, while nominations for the 2015 Grammy Awards trickled onto the web via Twitter, the usual suspects of country music — including chart-toppers Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Dierks Bentley — were joined by several unexpected nominees. Brandy Clark, an under-the-radar country songwriter who began stepping into the spotlight with 2013's 12 Stories, nabbed a pair of nods for Best Country Album and the all-genre Best New Artist category.
"This is just amazing; I really don't have the words for it," Clark said of the nominations. "To see 12 Stories in the middle of all of those great albums and artists is a dream come true.”
Clark was joined in album recognition by Lee Ann Womack, still fresh from the September release of The Way I'm Livin', whose mellow, stripped-down vibe has more in common with old-school Dolly Parton than modern-day country-pop.
An outspoken critic of fad genres like bro-country, Womack responded to the nomination with a mix of gratitude and validation, saying, "This sure makes me feel like real music still matters... that all these wonderful players and songwriters who write to tell stories, to show life all splintered and rough... and honestly, the kind of country music I love have a place in this world."
Meanwhile, Glen Campbell, who gave an emotional farewell performance during the 2012 Grammy Awards, scored a Best Country Song nod for the final single of his career, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You." The nomination will likely be the last of Campbell's 50-plus years in show business, which have been drawing to a close ever since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011. Campbell entered a long-term facility home earlier this year.
Former alt-country star Ryan Adams received three nominations for his self-titled album (as well as its kickoff single, "Gimme Something Good"), while country expat Taylor Swift earned a trio of Grammy nods for newly-released 1989.
See the full list of 2015 country and Americana Grammy nominees below.
Best Country Solo Performance
Eric Church, "Give Me Me Back My Hometown"
Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"
Miranda Lambert, "Automatic"
Carrie Underwood, "Something In the Water"
Keith Urban, "Cop Car"