Rhett has become one of the artists to watch over the course of two previous albums, and his much-anticipated third album, Life Changes, has seen him deliver on the promise of the first two in spades. Its first single, "Craving You," is a duet with Maren Morris that reached No. 1 before the album was even released, and the second single, "Unforgettable," is likely to follow. The album gave Rhett his first No. 1 placement on the all-genre Billboard 200 as well.
This is Rhett's first nomination for Male Vocalist at the CMA Awards, but he's already the reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year after winning in April. He's a multiple nominee this year; "Craving You" is also up for Musical Event and Video of the Year in 2017. We doubt Rhett will go home empty-handed, but read on to discover why Rhett deserves to win Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards.
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Rhett isn't a power singer or a showy vocalist, but one of the reasons he deserves to win CMA Male Vocalist is because he's completely unique. There are singers in the category with more power and range, but Rhett's unique strength lies partly in the fact that he's the only singer in the category who sounds anything like his style. His understated vocal performances rely on his phrasing and delivery as much as they do any showstopping technique.
One of Rhett's great strengths as a vocalist is his relatability. His vocal performances are so sincere because it's so easy for fans to listen to him and see themselves, whether he's singing a love song like "Unforgettable," a pop-country jam like "Craving You" or sharing stories and observations about his own home life with his wife and kids as he does in so many instances on Life Changes.
Talk about a left turn! Rhett came out of the gate hot with the first single from Life Changes, a duet with Maren Morris titled "Craving You." This is Rhett as we've never heard him before, and it could have been a stretch too far, but Rhett easily demonstrates that he has the vocal chops to hold his own right there with the Grammy-winning Morris.
He's the Hottest Artist in Country Music
Oftentimes the overall career arc of a given artist helps determine the big awards, and there's nobody in country music who's on a bigger career run than Rhett right now. Life Changes was one of the most anticipated albums of the year, and it's delivered on the anticipation by hitting No. 1 along with its first single, which is likely the first of several from the project. Add to that the non-stop excitement fans have for Rhett's family life with his wife Lauren and their growing family and it just seems like he's on an unstoppable train. This is Rhett's year for Male Vocalist.
The heart of Thomas Rhett's appeal as a vocalist isn't some tricky vocal part, scorching high notes or overtly showy style. What he succeeds at better than anyone else in country right now is connecting with fans on a personal and emotional level. Country music at its best is three chords and the truth, and Rhett has an exceptional ability to craft relatable songs that touch on the themes that are common to people's lives, and then deliver them in understated vocal performances that draw attention to the songs instead of the singer. That's what country music is all about, and it's why Thomas Rhett deserves to win Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards.