NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The 55th annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Country Music Awards was full of star-studded performances as they honored their most performed country songs of 2016.
Dierks Bentley took home song of the year for “Somewhere on a Beach,” Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion received Songwriter/Artist of the Year, while Ashley Gorley was named Songwriter of the Year for his fifth time.
Keith Urban performed “You Won,” while Vince Gill played “Til I Gain Control Again” in honor of multi-Grammy award winning artists Rodney Crowell, who was honored with the ASCAP Founders Award, an award given to those who have influenced music creators.
County music’s darling Kelsea Ballerini surprised the industry crowd with a performance of her song “In Between” after receiving the ASCAP Vanguard Award, which recognizes songwriters that are helping shape the future of Music.
We talked with Ballerini on the red carpet about the honor.
“I’ve always been really drawn to empowering females that are just so themselves that they make things different like Shania, is the best thing I can think of, so if I can ever be a sliver of that awesome and that different I would love to be,” she said.
Ballerini also talked about that balance between being songwriter and an artist.
“I would not be an artists if I wasn’t a songwriter. It’s a one 2 three for me and I think the songwriters in Nashville, they are the ones who shape the radio, they are the ones who shape country music you know so I’ve always been star struck by writers first,” she told News 2.
It’s a big week for Ballerini. She will be playing on Good Morning America the day of the CMA Awards, and then she is up for female vocalist of the year Wednesday night at the awards show where she’ll perform her single “Legends” with Reba.