Country Now Awards: Brantley Gilbert’s ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ Voted Favorite Sentimental Song

Country songs are known to tug at the heartstrings and many of the songs released in 2021 showcased that, including…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

December 8, 2021


9:06 pm

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Brantley Gilbert; Photo by Jeff Nelson

Country songs are known to tug at the heartstrings and many of the songs released in 2021 showcased that, including Brantley Gilbert’s “Gone But Not Forgotten,” a song that Country Now readers have deemed the Favorite Sentimental Song at the Inaugural Country Now Awards.

The emotional song was announced as the winner of the category on Wednesday evening during the Country Now Awards livestream.


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“Just wanted to say thank you so much to all the fans for making ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ your Favorite Sentimental Song,” Gilbert shared in a virtual acceptance speech. “Appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. The song means a lot to me and I’d say it means a lot to y’all. Much love, hope to see y’all on the road soon.”

Co-written by Gilbert alongside Brock Berryhill, Jason Blaine and Jay Brunswick, the Georgia native first shared a snippet of “Gone But Not Forgotten” in late August following the attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 13 members of the United States’ military.

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Due to the overwhelming response to the song, the father of two was later prompted to release the full track.

“We shared the song thinking some folks might find healing,” Gilbert said at the time. “It touched more lives than we ever could have imagined. Now that the song is released, I hope it helps to ease some of the pain and heartbreak for more folks out there that could use it.”

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The other tracks nominated in the Favorite Sentimental Song category were “Ain’t Even Met You Yet” by Chris Lane, “Bye Mom” by Chris Janson, “Forever After All” by Luke Combs, “Knowing You” by Kenny Chesney, “Made For Me To Love” by RaeLynn, “Made For You” by Jake Owen, “My Boy” by Elvie Shane, “Songs You Never Heard” by Luke Bryan, “The Good Ones” by Gabby Barrett and “We Didn’t Have Much” by Justin Moore.

The Inaugural Country Now Awards streamed on Wednesday, December 8. The winners in the 14 categories were determined by fan votes placed between November 15 and November 30 on Over 1.1 million total votes were cast.

Hosted by Country Now’s Lauren Black, the Country Now Awards featured special appearances by Brantley Gilbert, Carly Pearce, Chayce Beckham, Chelcie Lynn (a.k.a. Trailer Trash Tammy), Elle King, ERNEST, Jameson Rodgers, Jimmie Allen, Kaleb Austin, Katie Austin, Kierra Lewis, Lindsay Ell, Morgan Wallen, and Walker Hayes.

George Birge, HARDY, Jameson Rodgers, Jimmie Allen, Lainey Wilson, Restless Road and Lily Rose also performed.

The Country Now Awards live stream was in support of the Love Music. Stop Cancer. Campaign to raise awareness and support for kids with cancer and other catastrophic diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Visit to learn more about Love Music. Stop Cancer.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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 and her work being featured on 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.