Technology wasn’t working in Travis Denning’s favor when the singer tried to hear if he’d been nominated for the upcoming 2021 ACM Awards…but thankfully, someone else stepped in to help.

Denning was nominated for ACM New Male Artist of the Year, the category in which Jimmie Allen took home the title for the 2021 awards. The singer and Allen were nominated alongside fellow artists Hardy, Cody Johnson, and Parker McCollum.

“I got a text the night before from somebody on my management team, and it was like one of those things where they’re like, 'You should tune in to the nominations tomorrow,”’ Denning recalls. “And I was like, 'Really!?'"

That was all the information the singer’s team gave him. So, the next morning he woke up to watch, but technical difficulties presented some roadblocks.

“I got up, but I couldn’t find it. I didn’t know what it was on. I thought it was going to be on CBS, but then I couldn’t get my girlfriend’s streaming app to work,” Denning says.

In a race against time, he tried a new location to try and watch.

“I got in my truck and I was driving really fast to my house…then I got a text halfway to my house and it was like, 'You’re nominated!'"

Sadly, he never got to watch his nomination reveal live, but that didn’t stop Denning from turning the car around to celebrate.

“I literally just went straight to Waffle House and I got an All-Star breakfast and celebrated,” he tells us.

For the singer, just to be nominated is humbling.

“The nomination was the icing on the cake,” Denning says. “If we won that would have been so crazy, but I mean, I was happy to be in that category because all those guys are just crushin’ it right now.���

With an ACM nomination under his belt, Denning is ready to make new music.

“We’ve cut a couple of songs through the pandemic — honestly they are very live-inspired,” Denning tells Taste of Country. “For me, I think I missed being on the stage so much that that’s kinda where my head was at.”

Denning notes that the new songs are high-energy, describing one as a "barn-burner, fast as all get out" ... songs that would get the crowd going at a live show.

“We’ve just cut some songs that feel big. They just feel like they deserve to be sung on a stage,” Denning explains. “That’s really been the inspiration behind the music we’re working on.”

The 2021 ACM Awards will begin at 8PM ET and will air live on CBS and be available to stream on Paramount+. Sign up for the streaming service here.

2021 ACM Awards Nominees: The Full List

Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton lead all 2021 ACM Awards nominees with six each and Miranda Lambert has five, including Female Artist of the Year. Thomas Rhett and Ashley McBryde will be up for four ACM awards on April 18. The CBS broadcast will award trophies for Entertainer, Song and Album of the Year, in addition to Duo and Group of the Year. This is a list of all ACM Awards nominations for 2021.

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