Yep, yep, Dustin, it does suck not getting an ACM Awards nomination for Single of the Year for “Small Town Boy.”
But did Dustin deserve one? We’ll get there after a bit of backstory.
Dustin got up early on March 1 to watch as the nominees were announced. We know this because he recently posted a video on Instagram that displayed his dejection front and center (the clip has also been edited with sad music to let us know when to feel sad).
“Well, we successfully didn’t get nominated again,” says Dustin after watching the announcement. “Career-changing song. I don’t get it. What am I missing, you know? Man, it just sucks. Like we always say, it’s like we’re playing with one, maybe two hands tied behind our back. I don’t get it . . . bummer man, worked freaking hard for this. Sucks.”
As soon as the ACM nominations were announced, I wrote an article titled “2018 ACM Awards Nominations: 15 Snubs and Surprises.” Basically, the article was just my natural gut reaction to the nominees—sans any in-depth research.
Here’s what I wrote about Single of the Year:
Single Record of the Year
- “Better Man” – Little Big Town
- “Body Like A Back Road” – Sam Hunt
- “Broken Halos” – Chris Stapleton
- “Drinkin’ Problem” – Midland
- “I’ll Name The Dogs” – Blake Shelton
SNUB:”In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young
The tune spent two weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and would have been the most successful song of the year if it hadn’t been for Sam Hunt’s smash, “Body Like a Back Road.”
SURPRISE: “I’ll Name the Dogs” – Blake Shelton
Normally, I wouldn’t bat an eye about this nomination, but it feels out of place considering Blake didn’t receive a Male Vocalist of the Year nomination. It’s almost like a pity nomination to get Blake to show up at the awards show.
As you can see, the initial shocker to me was the absence of Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know,” which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and was the second best-selling country song of the year, behind Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road.”
Top-Selling Country Digital Songs of 2017 (according to Nielsen Music)
- Sam Hunt — “Body Like a Back Road” — 1,818,000 units
- Brett Young — “In Case You Didn’t Know” — 847,000
- Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood — “The Fighter”— 701,000
- Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina — “What Ifs” — 589,000
- Jon Pardi — “Dirt on My Boots” — 545,000
- Luke Combs — “Hurricane” — 530,000
- Keith Urban — “Blue Ain’t Your Color” — 512,000
- Dustin Lynch — “Small Town Boy” — 492,000
- Little Big Town — “Better Man” — 468,000
- LANCO — “Greatest Love Story” — 454,000
Dustin’s “Small Town Boy” came it at No. 8 on the Top-Selling list—and that’s quite a feather in your hat—but what Dustin can really hang his hat on is this: “Small Town Boy” spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2017.
No other country song accomplished that feat in 2017.
Three songs spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Airplay chart—Blake Shelton’s “A Guy With a Girl,” Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” and “Billy Currington’s “Do I Wake You Wanna—but “Small Town Boy” was the only single to top the chart for four weeks.
Which brings us to the criteria for ACM Single of the Year: “The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, success at radio, record sales, success in digital media and impact of the single record on consumers and the country music industry. The nominees shall be determined by a nomination ballot(s) and are subject to the approval of the Board. The winner shall be determined by a vote of the ACM professional membership.”
Yep, yep, Dustin’s “Small Town Boy” probably should have been nominated based on the aforementioned criteria, but that damn “but are not limited” clause basically gives the Board carte blanche to do whatever it wants.
All Dustin is left to do is say, “Sucks.”
photo by Jason Simanek