As most year-end critics' lists will undoubtedly proclaim, 2013 has been a year where newcomer Kacey Musgraves has dazzled with a sound that is both traditional and irreverent. That being said, it's little surprise that the singer finished prominently in the Grammy nominations announcement Friday night.
The Texas native ended up with four -- Best Country Album ("Same Trailer Different Park"), Best Country Song (two nominations for writing "Merry Go 'Round," her breakthrough hit, as well as Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart"), and the overall Best New Artist category. Still, Musgraves has been on the lips of every critic in 2013, and her excellence was justly rewarded.
It was also another big night for Taylor Swift, who scored with nominations for "Begin Again" in the Best Country Song category, as well as for Country Album of the Year for Red, which also was included in the overall Album category. Swift also was a key part of Tim McGraw's "Highway Don't Care," which scored a nod for Best Country Duo / Group Performance alongside Keith Urban.
Lee Brice an artist who has been hard-at-work building his career for quite some time found himself mentioned for Best Country Solo Performance for his emotional "I Drive Your Truck" single, which also was celebrated in the Song of the Year category for writers Connie Harrington, Jessi Alexander, and Jimmy Yeary. Interestingly enough, Harrington and Alexander gained a pair of nominations in the Song category for co-writing "Mine Would Be You" with Deric Ruttan. Tim McGraw notched a pair of nominations including one for Two Lanes Of Freedom in the Country Album of the Year category. All in all, an interesting night for some of the format's top stars that makes for some interesting water cooler talk in Music City and Country fans everywhere through February.