Originally published in the April 4, 2016 issue of Country Weekly magazine.
The Nash Music Madness 2016 Champion is Carrie Underwood (Oklahoma)
- Grammy Best Country Solo Performance nom.
- CMA Female Vocalist of the Year nom.
- Billboard No. 1 Album
With the poise and confidence of a defending champion, Carrie Underwood dominated our Music Madness competition for the second year in a row. On her way to the crown, Carrie routed Eric Church in the opening round, crushed Kelsea Ballerini in the quarterfinals, shellacked Luke Bryan in the semifinals and trounced Little Big Town in the finals—and she did it without breaking a sweat.
When we came up with the idea to let YOU—the readers—decide which one of the 16 hottest stars in country music had the best “season” in a winner-takes-all tournament, we took our staff’s opinions out of the equation. After coming up with a list of factors that governed the seeding, our job was done. It was time to sit back and let you vote. And vote you did. For five weeks, thousands and thousands of online votes poured in each round until we were left with one woman standing: Carrie Underwood.
And what a successful season it’s been for Carrie. She scored the 22nd and 23rd No. 1 singles of her career with “Smoke Break” and “Heartbeat” from her Billboard No. 1 album Storyteller. She also embarked on The Storyteller Tour, selling out numerous venues and taking her talents across the pond, where she performed for the first time for enthusiastic crowds in Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway. The tour runs through May, so don’t expect Carrie to slow down.
We’re already looking forward to another great tourney next year. Can Carrie three-peat as champion and start her own dynasty or will a new titleholder emerge? The new season begins now, and we’ll be watching.