2020 CMA Awards Snubs: Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini & More

Nominees for the 54th Annual CMA Awards were revealed on Tuesday (Sept. 1). Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Maren Morris…

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Lauren Jo Black

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September 1, 2020

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Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney;Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for CMT

Nominees for the 54th Annual CMA Awards were revealed on Tuesday (Sept. 1). Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Maren Morris and Keith Urban were among this year’s top nominees, however, the list left some fans scratching their heads as a number of artists weren’t included in the mix.

Here’s a look at six of this year’s biggest CMA Awards snubs.

Kane Brown; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kane Brown; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Kane Brown

After another incredible year of sold-out shows and impressive streaming numbers and chart performance, Kane Brown was once again forgotten. There’s obviously only enough room for five nominees per category, but he should have been recognized for something.

Jason Aldean; Photo by David Becker/Getty Images
Jason Aldean; Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean scored zero nominations for the second consecutive year. This is quite the surprise as he’s typically a favorite at the ACM Awards, having taken home the top honor of ACM Entertainer of the Year in the past. The voters are typically the same, so what gives?

Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Luke Bryan; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Luke Bryan

With his a judge’s spot on American Idol, chart-topping singles and massive touring numbers (outside of the pandemic), it’s a shock that Bryan didn’t receive a single nomination. The same thing happened in 2019.

Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Kelsea Ballerini

It’s a surprise not to see Kelsea Ballerini’s name in the mix. She’s a Grand Ole Opry member and recently released her sophomore album. She would have been a good contender for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Blake Shelton; Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Musicians On Call
Blake Shelton; Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Musicians On Call

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton had a massive year with “God’s Country” and “Nobody But You,” his duet with Gwen Stefani. It was definitely a surprise that “Nobody But You” didn’t (at the very least) score a nomination for Musical Event of the Year.

Kenny Chesney; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp
Kenny Chesney; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney delivered what is quite possibly his best album in years with Here and Now. It could be argued that the project was released a little too late in the nomination period, but it’s quite a shock to see his name omitted from the list of nominees.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.