If the Brothers Osborne were boxers, they wouldn’t have even been given a puncher’s chance to defeat three-time defending champions Florida Georgia Line for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year. But not only did the Brothers floor FGL, they also knocked out Dan + Shay, Joey + Rory and Maddie & Tae to take home the trophy.
To put the upset in perspective, over the course of the last year (July 2015 to June 2016 for CMA voting), Florida Georgia Line has earned two Billboard No. 1 singles (“Confession” and “H.O.L.Y”) as well as a No. 3 single (“Anything Goes”), released a Billboard No. 1 album (Dig Your Roots) and crushed it out on the road with their monster Dig Your Roots Tour.
Brothers Osborne put out two singles (“Stay a Little Longer” and “21 Summer,” which charted at No. 2 and No. 24, respectively) from their Billboard No. 3 album (Pawn Shop). They also supported Miranda Lambert on her Keeper of the Flame Tour.
Now, I’m not saying that Billboard chart numbers and tours are the be-all and end-all of CMA voting, but it’s usually a good foundation, and FGL’s foundation was much sturdier than their competition. In that regard, it’s an upset—not that the Brothers Osborne aren’t more than deserving. They are.
In fact, during their acceptance speech, TJ Osborne said, “Man, I hate to be that person who says I didn’t prepare a speech, but I honestly didn’t. We sat behind Florida Gerogia Line and I thought for sure we’d be congratulating them tonight.”
It turns out that Brothers Osborne deserve the congratulations.
photo by Jason Simanek