Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie & Tae and Chris Stapleton are three of the nominees vying for New Artist of the Year (along with Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett). In honor of their newbie status, we asked them to share their favorite song of the year winner ever.
The answers might surprise you.
Ballerini, 22, reveals Sugarland’s “Stay,” which won in 2008, gets her vote. “Jennifer Nettles wrote that song by herself and I think that is so impressive and an ode to true talent,” says Ballerini. “It’s a goal of mine.”
Maddie & Tae both feel equally strong about Vince Gill‘s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” even thought they were only a year old in 1996 when the song took home the award. “It was the bomb dot com,” says Marlow.
And finally Stapleton, 37, says Miranda Lambert‘s “House that Built Me,” which won in 2010, holds a special place in his heart. “I never hear that song and don’t listen to it.”
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The 49th Annual CMA Awards air live on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 8 pm ET on ABC.