The three artists survived the first round of online voting to become the final nominees for the ACM New Artist of the Year award.
The Academy of Country Music professional members selected eight semi-finalists, which included Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Thomas Rhett, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell and Dan + Shay. The final three nominees were determined by a combination of online fan votes and ACM membership votes.
“We take pride in uncovering the best new artists in country music,” said Leslie Fram, SVP of Music Strategy, CMT. “The Academy’s New Artist category represents the best in our format, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on fan-voting.”
To promote the second round of fan voting, CMT will premiere a special episode of the CMT Hot 20 Countdown, featuring Hunt, Rhett, and Swindell.
Rhett and Swindell were nominated for the CMA Best New Artist award last year, and they both lost to Brett Eldrege. This is the first nomination for fellow chart-topper Hunt.
The final round of fan voting between the three finalists begins on April 8th at VoteACM.com. The winner will be revealed at the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2015.