Here's our guide to make the most of the extra day this leap year.
Last night America’s country music community gathered at the legendary Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to celebrate the best of 2018 with the 52nd Annual Country Music Association Awards. Hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, the awards featured performances from Thomas Rhett, Ashley McBryde, Kacey Musgraves and female supergoup Pistol Annies; Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angeleena Presley.
Kentucky singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, not only one the hottest stars in country music, cemented his status as he took home three wins and two additional nominations at this year’s awards ceremony, winning Male Vocalist Of The Year, Song Of The Year as well as Single Of The Year for Broken Halos
The singer’s rep sheet includes having writing and co-writing credits for over 150 songs, including hit country songs for the likes of Kenny Chesney and George Strait. In March next year, Chris is set to headline the UK’s biggest country music festival, with his Country To Country performance also set to feature Lyle Lovett, Ashley McBryde and Drake White & The Big Fire as supports.
Aussie country superstar Keith Urban won Entertainer Of The Year, beating Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Chris Stapleton. The win comes as he gears up to headline next year’s Country To Country Festival at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow and The O2 in London.
2018’s best video came from country-pop singer Thomas Rhett whose Marry Me is an endearing almost-love song with a heart-wrenching video. Unlike the song, the video has a hint of fairytale ending at the very end, marking a well deserved win for Rhett. To get your heartstrings tugged at a little more, you can see Thomas play his only UK show in London this weekend.
Vocal Duo Of The Year was awarded to Brothers Osborne who’ll also be bringing their country songs to our shores at the end of this month. The duo recently released their sophomore record Port Saint Joe including hit single Shoot Me Straight.
Kacey Musgraves, who recently wowed with a UK headline tour, was honoured with the Record of the Year gong for her milestone record Golden Hour, while Carrie Underwood was crowned Female Vocalist Of The Year after having released her stunning new single Cry Pretty, also nominated for Music Video Of The Year.
To get your fix of country music goodness, head on over to our Country Guide for all UK shows on sale now.