Mitchell Tenpenny talks 'living the dream' following runaway success of 'Drunk Me' (Exclusive)

Mitchell Tenpenny is giving the people what they want.

The country star, whose major label debut, "Drunk Me," hit No. 1 on the country charts, is riding the wave of the song's success and hoping to convert that into a prolonged career in Nashville and beyond. Tenpenny, who wrote hit songs for other artists for years before ever playing his own hand at being a recording artist, lets his fans guide some of his career's most important decisions, like what the follow-up to "Drunk Me" was.

"[Second single, 'Alcohol You Later'] wasn’t even going to make the record, let alone be a single, but people just kept singing it and it became part of our set. It was like, 'Okay, sounds like this is the next single,'" he told AOL's Gibson Johns during a recent sit-down interview. "I want to build a brand around what people want to hear. That’s the most authentic way I can be, and I don’t want to just build a record for myself. I can do that at home. I want to build something that people are craving."

For more, check out our full conversation with country star Mitchell Tenpenny below:

Your first official major label single, “Drunk Me,” came out last February and has since blown up, eventually hitting No. 1 on the country charts. What has this last year been like for you?

It’s been everything I’ve dreamed of for the last 12 years trying to do this type of thing. Just hearing your song on the radio, getting to play shows with people you respect on tours, we’re trying to slow down and take a minute to really appreciate what has happened, because you’re just working so hard all the time and when you look back… it’s something that you dream of as a kid. Even just signing the record deal with Sony, we were out with a single in a month or two. It’s all been bam, bam, bam and flying by so fast.

 

 

When did you first know that “Drunk Me” was the song you wanted to launch your major label career with?

I’m a songwriter first -- that’s what I’ve always done -- and I wrote songs before I ever got the chance to be an artist. when I wrote that song, I pitched it to other artists first and I didn’t assume it would be my song. The guy I co-wrote it with sung on the demo of it, so it wasn’t even my voice on the demo when we pitched it. I thought that someone would take it, but when it came time to make a record, I was kinda nervous about singing that song because he did such a good job on the demo. I was like, “I’m not gonna do it justice.” But, we raised the key, and when I heard I back for the first time through the speakers I was like, “This is cool, this is different.” I didn’t know if it was good different, but if you want to stand a chance, you’ve got to be different. That was what we talked about with our team was that this felt like the most identifying thing that we could come out with first. Whether it was good or bad, you would know exactly what this was.

We slowly climbed from the 50s to 40s to 30s and then it was the high 30s when we were at LakeShake Festival and that was the first time I heard people singing it back to me. I remember looking at my band around the second chorus and tearing up. That’s something you dream about. I know how hard they worked and everyone’s traveled so much for this. It’s little moments like that that really push you to that next thing.

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Mitchell Tenpenny out and about
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Mitchell Tenpenny out and about
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - APRIL 13: Mitchell Tenpenny performs during the 2019 Tortuga Music Festival on April 13, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Mitchell Tenpenny attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Mitchell Tenpenny and Meghan Patrick attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 06: (L-R) Mitchell Tenpenny, Carlton Anderson and Jordan Davis attend ACM Lifting Lives®: Decades on April 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 06: Mitchell Tenpenny performs onstage at ACM Lifting Lives®: Decades on April 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 06: (L-R) Tenille Townes, Lauren Alaina and Mitchell Tenpenny attend ACM Lifting Lives®: Decades on April 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 06: Mitchell Tenpenny attends the ACM Lifting Lives TOPGOLF Tee-Off at TOPGOLF on April 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 05: Mitchell Tenpenny attends the SiriusXM's The Highway broadcast backstage from the Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 05, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 05: Mitchell Tenpenny attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards Cumulus/Westwood One Radio Remotes on April 05, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ACM)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! - "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Tuesday, January 15 included Ted Danson ("The Good Place"), Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer ("Broad City"), and musical guest Mitchell Tenpenny. (Randy Holmes via Getty Images) MITCHELL TENPENNY
TODAY -- Pictured: Mitchell Tenpenny on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
KENT, WA - DECEMBER 06: Country music singer and songwriter Mitchell Tenpenny poses for a photo backstage during The Hometown Holiday show hosted by 100.7 The Wolf at ShoWare Center on December 6, 2018 in Kent, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
KENT, WA - DECEMBER 06: Country music singer and songwriter Mitchell Tenpenny performs on stage during The Hometown Holiday show hosted by 100.7 The Wolf at ShoWare Center on December 6, 2018 in Kent, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
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And it shows you that it doesn’t just happen. A song can be perfect, but there’s so much work behind getting a song to climb the charts, get played on the radio and hit No. 1.

It takes a whole team behind it. The song is one thing -- in my opinion, it’s one of the smallest parts of it -- because then you have to literally funnel everything in. It has to be a perfect time, everyone has to be firing on all cylinders and they did an incredible job. I’m very lucky.

It hit No. 1, and the New York Times called it one of the best songs of last year. But the second move can be even more important for an artist trying to solidify themselves in the industry. Talk to me about the thought process behind riding the success and answering the question: What’s next?

Just listening to the audience, listening to radio. That was what the next single was picked off of. What are people singing back the most to us? What was radio saying they loved the most? That’s how we came up with “Alcohol You Later.” I mean, that song wasn’t even going to make the record, let alone be a single, but people just kept singing it and it became part of our set. It was like, “Okay, sounds like this is the next single.” That’s the thing you want, and I want to build a brand around what people want to hear. That’s the most authentic way I can be, and I don’t want to just build a record for myself. I can do that at home. I want to build something that people are craving.

 

 

It’s been about six months since your album, "Tell Me All My Secrets," came out. How happy are you with the reception? How long do you see this album cycle lasting?

It was a killer first week which was nuts for me, because you just never know. It was very humbling and gives you a lot of inspiration to go off of. That inspiration has got to be held back, though, because you have to run a cycle of an album. I’m writing and releasing music all the time, of course, but there’s a process there, too. There are so many songs on this record that I want to give people a chance to hear. That’s a balance with every artist and every creator of any sort as they want to get their product out.

What are some of the songs on the album that you’re most excited about? 

Honestly, all of them. I love playing “Goner” live -- it’s a guitar song for me and, as a guitar player, it’s really fun and intriguing for me to play. There’s love songs -- “Somebody Ain’t You,” “Somebody’s Got Me” -- there’s a song that I wrote for my dad, “Walk Like Him,” which people respond to because everyone’s dealt with loss. I want all of these songs to have the lives that I saw with them when I wrote them.

You've been on tour with Old Dominion, and you’ve also toured with some other great names. Talk to me about the importance of touring and reaching new artists in that way?

That’s why I love opening up for people, because that’s where you’re working the hardest: You’re trying to win new fans. Our shows, to be honest, are the most fun because they’re full of just our fans. That’s where the tough work comes in, though. When you immediately get to see a reaction -- whether you did good or bad -- when you’re testing yourself each night and playing to people you haven’t played to before, that’s intriguing to me because that’s where you earn it. It’s cool to see a crowd full of people that I have no idea if they know me or not and starting on a clean slate. Like, “How are we gonna make sure that we walk away with a message left behind?” That’s the goal every time, and it’s kind of fun. I’ve been enjoying it.

Has there been one particular moment when you won a crowd over and one where you might not have?

You can always tell. Sometimes, you do shows that make sense to help with routing and sometimes it's a smalltown festival in a really, really country town that might not be the best brand for us, but we always seem to grab something from it. I always try to take something away. We have a song called “B-tches,” and when people are singing that song back, that’s when I know we did our job. That’s how you know they believed in what we were saying.

You must spend a lot time with these people like Old Dominion and Maren Morris while you're on the road with them. Have you taken any key advice from them? 

I correlate myself a lot with Old Dominion, because they were songwriters first. I’m not comparing myself to them, but how we approach music and how they built their band was that no one was cutting their songs, they knew they were writing good songs, so why not make a band and put them out? That’s how it went with me: I want these songs to be heard and, if no one’s going to do it, why not do it myself? They’ve given me the best perspective in the longevity of it, being patient and doing things your own way if it’s not working. It’s less about talking and more about just seeing how they do it and how they handle themselves with their crew. Their crew is so good and they treat everyone so well. It’s a testament to them, why they’re successful and why they’ve had seven No. 1’s in a row: They write good music and they’re good people.

You were nominated for New Male Artist of the Year at the ACMs in April. What does a night like that mean to you? It says a lot about the industry’s faith in you and where they think you can go.

Just to be included in those names, again that’s a team thing where they worked so hard to get our name represented in that. The year before, I was with my manager in the nosebleeds and we just barely scraped by getting tickets. We weren’t invited. To go from there, it was a pinch me moment. Like, “Slow down, brother.” To be nominated and be up there with all those people that you love and respect, win or lose, it’s an honor. It really is.

I'd love to hear a bit more about your jump from a songwriter to an artist. What was making that leap like? Were there things that you were worried about in doing so?

It’s a terrifying thing, and that’s what I talked to the Old Dominion guys about. They talk about it in their set: They come and put three stools down and they’ll play the songs they wrote and tell you how they got there. When you’re making that jump from songwriter to artist, you’re pretty much giving up all of the work you did as a songwriter in town. It’s scary. You’ve worked so hard to be in that circle now with all of those amazing songwriters, and now all of a sudden you’re going to leave and go on the road for 300 days a year? It’s scary, because that’s all you’ve ever wanted and it’s finally happening, but now you have this other opportunity and you have to make this leap of faith. It’s that respect thing: Did you earn it enough as a songwriter before you made that leap? It’s always that self-questioning part of being an artist and a songwriter, but I felt like I was in a good enough place that I found peace in myself to give this a shot. If I was going to do the artist thing, I wanted to feel good about it, and I did.

And you've clearly earned that respect.

You hope, but you never know. So far, so good. I’m living the dream and getting back to writing songs again. You stop writing for a minute after writing every day for seven years, but now I’m getting back into it again. You have to have days off. I’m always saying that I have more hooks and lines in my phone than I’ve ever had before. I have a lot of ammo going into that [writing] room now. I can’t wait to put it to paper.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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ACM Awards 2019: Red carpet arrivals
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ACM Awards 2019: Red carpet arrivals
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Kelly Clarkson attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Reba McEntire attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Carrie Underwood attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Kacey Musgraves attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Miranda Lambert attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Miranda Lambert and Brendan McLoughlin attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Nicole Kidman attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Jason Aldean and Brittany Aldean attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Maren Morris attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Luke Bryan attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman and Philip Sweet of Little Big Town attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Morgane Stapleton and Chris Stapleton attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Cole Swindell attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Dan + Shay attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Kane Brown attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Chevel Shepherd attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Brittney Marie Cole Kelley, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, and Hayley Stommel Hubbard attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Ryan Hurd attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Cassadee Pope attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Cassadee Pope attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Catherine Shepherd and Brandi Carlile attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Cam arrives for the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Chrissy Metz attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Khalid attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Carly Pearce attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Dennis Quaid attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye of Maddie & Tae attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Danica Patrick attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Anthony 'Skeeter Lasusso and Reba McEntire attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Chris Lane and Lauren Bushnell attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Caroline Boyer and Luke Bryan attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Lindsay Ell arrives for the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Mickey Guyton attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Scotty McCreery attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Russell Dickerson attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Dustin Lynch arrives for the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Danielle Bradbery attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Diane Warren attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Thomas Rhett attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: AJ McLean attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Mitchell Tenpenny attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Morgan Evans attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Michael Ray and Carly Pearce attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Rodney Atkins attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Kate Moore and Justin Moore attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Kane Brown and Katelyn Jae attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Geoff Sprung, Whit Sellers, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, and Brad Tursi of Old Dominion attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Chase Rice attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
Morgan Wallen arrives for the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Mitchell Tenpenny attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Granger Smith attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Kasi Williams and Chuck Wicks attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Sabina Gadecki (L) and Tyler Rich attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Devin Dawson, Leah Sykes, Carly Pearce, and Michael Ray attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Barbie Blank attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Ian Fitchuk attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Michael Baum and Shane McAnally attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Jay Hernandez attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Amanda Shires attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Casey Brown attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Nicolle Galyon attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Cole Swindell (L) and Barbie Blank attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Hunter Hayes attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Abby Law, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay, and Hannah Billingsley attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Brittany Aldean attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Walker Hayes attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Jake Owen attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Tanya Tucker attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Hannah Mulholland, Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne of Runaway June attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Cassie Randolph (L) and Colton Underwood attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: (L-R) Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Ashley McBryde attends the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
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