There are powerful eyes staring back at you.  There are millions more watching from home.  Everyone's wanting to see whether you're gonna sink or swim.That's the reality that faces the nominees, performers and presenters at the 48th Annual CMA Awards, country music's biggest night, November 5th on ABC and broadcast live on US 105.  One group in particular, New Artist of the Year, is filled with people facing the bright lights and TV cameras on such a massive scale for the first time.

As I've previewed the 2014 nominees for New Artist of the Year already, let's look back at a few artists and how they fared in that New Artist category.  This particular category only dates back to 2008, and the previous winners include Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Zac Brown Band and the Band Perry.  Those are certainly artists worthy of that title, at least until you look at who lost out.

The Zac Brown Band won in 2010 after being nominated for the same award in 2009.  If at first you don't succeed....  Jason Aldean was up for New Artist of the Year in 2008, but lost to Lady A.  Looking at their record sales now, you see they may have misjudged that year.  Luke Bryan, who may break records this year with his Crash My Party album, lost (not once, but) TWICE.

Luke lost to Zac Brown Band in '09 and the Band Perry in 2010.  Again, great artists, but Luke Bryan is launching into the outer atmosphere with this album.  Even last year Florida Georgia Line, who have broken too many sales records to keep track of, lost to Kacey Musgraves.  Can anyone name 3 songs from Kacey Musgraves?  How about FGL?  There are two artists up for the New Artist award for a 2nd consecutive year.  Will Kip Moore or Brett Eldredge take home the hardware, or will we have two different two-time losers?

Losing may not kill your career, but I'm sure it highly motivates that artists to prove voters wrong.  It gives country music fans their first real look at an artist and his/her stage presence and sound.  It doesn't matter what hardware you carry out of the building after the show as long as you're mounting a platinum album on your wall within the next 12 months.

US 105 will air the 48th Annual CMA Awards Wednesday, November 5th, beginning at 7pm.  We'll also live coverage from Nashville featuring Sam Alex, host of Taste of Country Nights (weeknights 7-midnight on US 105) and Taste of Country editor Billy Dukes.


2008 Nominees

Jason Aldean

Rodney Atkins

James Otto

Kellie Pickler

Winner:  Lady Antebellum



2009 Nominees

Randy Houser

Jamey Johnson

Jake Owen

Zac Brown Band

Winner- Darius Rucker



2010 Nominees

Luke Bryan

Easton Corbin

Jerrod Niemann

Chris Young

Winner- Zac Brown Band



2011 Nominees

Luke Bryan (again)

Eric Church

Thompson Square

Chris Young

Winner- The Band Perry



2012 Nominees

Lee Brice

Brantley Gilbert

Love and Theft

Thompson Square

Winner- Hunter Hayes



2013 Nominees

Lee Brice (again)

Brett Eldredge

Florida Georgia Line

Kip Moore

Winner- Kacey Musgraves



2014 Nominees

Brandy Clark

Brett Eldredge (again)

Kip Moore (again)

Thomas Rhett

Cole Swindell

Winner- ??????