Sam Hunt Leads Country 2016 Billboard Music Awards Nominees
Hunt's nominated for all three of the awards show's country categories: Top Country Artist, Top Country Album and Top Country Song. He earned two noms in the Top Country Song category, one for "Break Up in a Small Town" and one for "Take Your Time." Other country stars, including Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band and Chris Stapleton, each received a total of two nominations; last year, Bryan received four nods.
For Top Country Artist, Zac Brown Band, Bryan, Stapleton and Carrie Underwood, along with Hunt, are in the running; Florida Georgia Line took home the prize in 2015. The Top Country Album prize, which Jason Aldean nabbed last year, includes Stapleton's Traveller, Bryan's Kill the Lights, ZBB's Jekyll + Hyde, Underwood's Storyteller and Hunt's Montevallo.
Besides Hunt, none of the artists nominated for Top Country Artist or Top Country Album received nods for Top Country Song. Instead, those nods went to Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man" (which recently nabbed an ACM Award for Single Record of the Year), Chris Young's "I'm Comin' Over" and Hunt's two singles.
No country artists were nominated for any of the all-genre categories this year, but Joey + Rory's final album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, received a nod for Top Christian album, alongside TobyMac, Chris Tomlin and more. Additionally, country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift is nominated for eight awards, including Top Artist. A full list of nominees is available on Billboard's website.
The 2016 Billboard Music Awards will take place in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena on May 22.
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