From Red Carpet Host To First-Time CMA Awards Nominee, Megan Moroney Reflects On ‘Insane’ Full-Circle Moment

The rising star is currently nominated for two CMA Awards.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

October 23, 2023


5:38 pm

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With the 57th Annual CMA Awards just around the corner, Megan Moroney is basking in the anticipation of being a first-time nominee. This milestone just goes to show how much has changed for Moroney in a year, because at this time in 2022, the viral sensation was preparing to make her CMA red carpet debut as a guest host for Country Now.

While walking the carpet decked out in a stunning blue gown, she caught up with some of the biggest and newest names in the genre, testing their knowledge on early 2000s country songs and showing off a few secret talents. Now, in an incredibly full-circle moment, Moroney’s name appears beside some of those same stars in the categories of Song Of The Year (“Tennessee Orange”) and New Artist Of The Year. 

First CMA Awards Red Carpet

Megan Moroney with Jelly Roll, Priscilla Block, ERNEST; Photos by Country Now
Megan Moroney with Jelly Roll, Priscilla Block, ERNEST; Photos by Country Now

“I mean that’s just another thing that’s insane. I was a host on the red carpet last year and I was nervous about doing that, and now I’m nominated for two, so I’m like, ‘What is going on?’ But it’s obviously, just as a songwriter, it’s just awesome to be recognized…the Nashville community is like, ‘oh, this is a song that people are paying attention to,’” Moroney told Country Now and other outlets during her recent No.1 party celebrating her PLATINUM-certified breakout single, “Tennessee Orange.” 

Full-Circle Moment

The Georgia native went on to admit that when she sat down to write the viral tune with Ben Williams, David Fanning and Paul Jenkins, she didn’t expect it to top of the charts, and she definitely wasn’t writing with the intention of it one day being nominated for a CMA Award. 

“When you’re writing a song, you’re not like, ‘I want this to be nominated for a CMA award.’ So it’s just, for me, it’s an honor, but I try not to put too much weight into it,” she shared humbly. “It is really cool that other people have recognized that they think it’s a good song.”

Megan Moroney; Photo by Anna Warner
Megan Moroney; Photo by Anna Warner

When it comes to her nomination for New Artist of the Year, Moroney is vying for the win against some heavy hitters including Jelly Roll, Zach Bryan, Parker McCollum and Hailey Whitters.  

“The Best New Artist thing, when I saw the other people in the category, I’m like, why is my name there with them?” she said with a laugh. “But yeah, that’s the same thing. I write songs. I love songwriting and it is therapeutic for me. And to have it be noticed by the national community is just cool. Not why I got into this, but the fact that I’m doing it and that’s a plus too is really cool.”

Fans can tune into the 2023 CMA Awards in November to see if Megan Moroney will take home the trophies. Co-hosted by country superstar Luke Bryan and National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the 57th Annual CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on Wednesday, November 8 at 8/7c on ABC.

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Capping Off A Wildly Successful Year

These CMA nominations come as just one of several bucket list firsts that the Sony Music Nashville/Columbia Records star has experienced in recent months. 

On September 20, Moroney kicked off her SOLD-OUT THE LUCKY TOUR with her New York City debut at The Bowery Ballroom on September 20. This performance was followed by an appearance at The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on October 10 as part of its illustrious SPOTLIGHT series. Held at the museum’s Clive Davis Theater, the SOLD-OUT event featured an intimate conversation moderated by her producer Kristian Bush, and a six-song set during which Moroney performed “Why Johnny” and the unreleased track “No Caller I’d.”

Then, Moroney made her late-night TV debut on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! as she brought her star-powered vocals to the stage to showcase “Tennessee Orange.” This song premiered in September 2022, prior to her signing a record deal, and quickly became a viral sensation.

The tune now lives on Moroney’s debut album, Lucky, which dropped in May via Sony Music Nashville/Columbia Records. Giving fans an up-close-look into her life as a 25-year-old, the project shot to the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and instantly gained rave reviews from country music lovers. 

Megan Moroney - LUCKY
Megan Moroney – LUCKY

Deluxe Album

A few months later, on Sept. 22, she expanded the project with the release of LUCKY (DELUXE EDITION), which uncovered three brand-new songs – “Fix You Too” feat. Kameron Marlowe, “Nothin’ Crazy” feat. Mackenzie Carpenter and “Reasons To Stay.”

These tunes were added onto the original 13-song track list that includes songs like “Girl In The Mirror,” “Traitor Joe,” “Sad Songs For Sad People,” and “I’m Not Pretty,” a self-assured anthem that recently hit Country radio airwaves as the No. 1 most-added single. 

Moroney continues to bring these songs and more to stages all over the U.S. as part of her headlining, sold-out THE LUCKY TOUR. While discussing some of her favorite parts of this trek with Country Now, she revealed that “Sad Songs For Sad People” is among the deep cuts that have quickly become a fan favorite during her live sets.

“It’s crazy that every single show I’ve had so far for the Lucky Tour, they sing every single word to every single song. It’s like the least streamed song, ‘Sad Songs For Sad People,’ they scream every single word. And so that’s been really rewarding to me,” she shared before adding, “It makes me want to be really careful of what songs I put on an album. Don’t just throw a bunch of songs because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Have purpose and strategy behind the songs you’re releasing because every single song they’re singing, that’s been really cool.”

This trek will continue to bring Megan Moroney to major cities throughout the U.S. before wrapping up in Atlanta, GA on December 10. 

For full tour dates and ticketing information, visit

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.