Last year proved to be a hot one for steadily rising star Chris Young--top highlights including landing at No. 4 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart with his third studio album, Neon, as well as his first-ever Grammy nomination. Things aren't cooling off at all in 2012, either, as the singer woke up on Thursday morning to the welcome news he'd just received two Academy of Country Music Awards nominations...in two really big categories: Male Vocalist of the Year and Single Record of the Year (for "Tomorrow").
Young has been nominated by the ACMs before (in the new artist category), but this is a pretty prestigious jump for any young artist to claim. I hopped on the phone with him to get his reactions to the nods. Chris Young
When asked which nomination he is more excited about, Young noted that as a songwriter, the Single nod is very special. However, he's extra pumped up about being included in the Male Vocalist category. "That one absolutely floored me," he noted. "I'm happy to be in that category. I'm the new guy; I think everyone that's in the male vocalist category has been nominated at least once before. So that one...I'm pretty fired up about that."
Young's up against some stiff competition in that arena--Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, and Brad Paisley, to be precise. However, "I think if you're nominated, you've always got a chance," he noted cheerfully.
What if he does actually win the award? "I don't know. Lose my mind? Fall off stage," he joked. "If I won either one of those awards, I'd just freak out. I'm freaking out right now because I'm nominated in those two categories. I didn't even know I was going to be nominated for anything this morning. And I wake up and I've got two nominations...and, like you said, in two really big categories!"
I asked Young what he thinks gave "Tomorrow" the edge to take a slot in the highly competitive Single Record category. "Taking nothing away from other things that I've written and other things that I've cut, when I wrote that song, I knew that was the best thing I'd written so far in my career," he explained. "I went to the label before we even recorded the album and I said, 'I've got the first single.' And everybody heard it and went 'yeah absolutely.' So, there's just something really special to me about that song."
No good news is complete without a celebration--so I asked Young what he planned to do that evening. "Well, we're actually on the Miranda Lambert tour, and of course Miranda got two nominations, so I think her and I are probably gonna celebrate a little bit tonight," he said.
Ah, ha! So, is it a red solo cup occasion? Young laughed. "I dunno...maybe!"
Congratulations, Chris, on your ACM nominations--and good luck! The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air live on CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1 at 8:00 PM ET/PT.