There’s a new award show in Music City and the country music community has been gearing up for it for weeks!
The inaugural People’s Choice Country Awards are underway at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. So far we’ve seen trophies awarded to some of the genre’s biggest stars and performances from the likes of Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce and Little Big Town.
Grammy Award-winning quartet Little Big Town had hosting duties for the event that they said would “highlight a really good energy” in mainstream country music. The band’s frontwoman, Karen Fairchild, told The Tennessean ahead of Thursday night’s show, “Crowds more diverse than country music has ever witnessed are singing some of the best songs the genre has ever heard out loud, from their cars to arenas, stadiums, everywhere.”
That diversity is evident in the artists, songs, videos and tours nominated in the People’s Choice Country Awards categories. One of the night’s categories that proved to be an example of that was The Collaboration Song of 2023. Nominees included industry veterans like Kenny Chesney, Old Domion and Justin Moore who were up against newer artists like Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll and Morgan Wallen.
Nominations for The Collaboration Song of 2023 are:
“Beer With My Friends” – Kenny Chesney, Old Dominion
“Cowgirls” – Morgan Wallen featuring Ernest
“Red” – HARDY featuring Morgan Wallen
“Save Me” – Jelly Roll with Lainey Wilson
“Thank God” – Kane Brown, Katelyn Brown
“Wait In The Truck” – HARDY featuring Lainey Wilson
“We Don’t Fight Anymore” – Carly Pearce, Chris Stapleton
“You, Me and Whiskey” – Justin Moore and Priscilla Block
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War & Treaty took the stage to announce this year’s winners….Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson for “Save Me”!
Lainey Wilson accepted the award on behalf of Jelly Roll who missed the show due to prior commitments. In her acceptance speech, Wilson detailed her friendship with the singer and shared a story about one of their first meetings.
“Back in 2013, I believe, he was doing a music video with Uncle Kracker and they were paying folks about $100 to go be extras in the music video. I was a drunk girl passed out on the ground,” she recalled. “I never got my $100, but I just want to say that Jelly is one of the purest souls I’ve gotten to know. And I think it’s so cool that he has fans who love him for him. And he makes people feel like they can be true to themselves and their stories. And I tell you what, that’s special right there in itself.”
Congratulations to Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson on their well-deserved win! Watch them sing “Save Me” below.