“I will be shocked if it makes the final ballot,” McAnally added.

USA Today also points out:

During the voting period, labels or management agencies often engage in lobbying efforts that include advertisements in music industry publications. Representatives for Lil Nas X’s label, Columbia Records, did not respond to the AP for comment about the CMA voting.

[Longtime country music journalist Hunter] Kelly said that since “Old Town Road” didn’t originate in Nashville and Lil Nas X is not signed to a Nashville label, there’s fewer voters emotionally or financially invested in seeing it nominated.


Kelly believes the song’s impact alone warrants a nomination, though, particularly for Single of the Year. “If you talk about a musical event, it’s still 19 weeks at No. 1,” Kelly noted. “It’s the all-time No. 1 on the Hot 100, so as a musical event, it totally deserves a nomination.”

It totally does deserve a nomination, at the very least. Can’t nobody tell Lil Nas X nothin’, but hopefully the voters tell each other to do the right thing and give “Old Town Road” its things.


The 53rd Annual CMA Awards will air on Nov. 13.