With all due respect, and remember, I said “with all due respect,” how did Lonestar get nominated for a 2017 People’s Choice Award for Best Country Group? The quartet, comprised of Richie McDonald, Michael Britt, Keech Rainwater and Dean Sams, will go head-to-head with nominees Little Big Town, Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band at this year’s ceremony.
The only reasonable explanation is that Russian president Vladimir Putin is a closeted Lonestar super-fan who personally directed a hack of the People’s Choice Awards nomination process.
Put 30 seconds on the clock. I’m now going to name as many country bands as I can that would have surprised me less than Lonestar being nominated: Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Dixie Chicks, Big & Rich, Dan + Shay, A Thousand Horses, Blackberry Smoke, Maddie & Tae, Thompson Square, Joey + Rory, Montgomery Gentry, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Eli Young Band, Alabama, Randy Rogers Band, The Mavericks, Josh Abbott Band, Oak Ridge Boys, Old Crow Medicine Show and Brooks & Dunn, who disbanded as duo in 2010 (but that would still be less shocking).
Lonestar didn’t exactly set the country music industry on fire in 2016. The four-piece band released its 10th studio album, Never Enders, which peaked at No. 48 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The title track was released as a single, but it failed to chart. Perhaps Lonestar is still getting residual votes based on their 1999 No. 1 hit, “Amazed,” which has been played at every mulleted wedding from 1999 to the present. That, alone, is worth a 2017 nomination, I guess.
Ready for one more factoid that supports my Putin-tampering theory: Lonestar’s Richie McDonald is playing at Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday, Jan. 19—one day after the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Coincidence? I think not.
In all seriousness, congrats to Lonestar for having such a passionate fan base.
“It’s such an honor to be nominated for Favorite Country Group,” said Lonestar’s Michael Britt in a statement. “We’ve been at this a long time and we’ve met a lot of fans and friends over the years and it’s just really nice to be part of the People’s Choice Awards this year. It’s nice to know we have such committed fans and we thank them for our longevity.”
“We always knew our fans were the best,” added Lonestar’s Dean Sams. “Our nomination for the People’s Choice Award this year is something we are all very proud of. We’ve already won whether we get the award or not. A huge thanks to all our fans for making this happen.”
Tune in to the People’s Choice Award on Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS to see if Putin has enough pull to get Lonestar the trophy.
photo by Jon Paul Bruno