Breakthrough singer, songwriter and musician Tenille Townes is the winner of New Female Artist of the Year at the 55th Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards. This year’s awards host, Keith Urban, surprised Townes with the news via Zoom.
Townes joins an impressive list of winners in the category including previous recipients Ashley McBryde, Lauren Alaina, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini. Of the honour, Townes shares, “I’ll always remember this feeling, standing here as a new artist. I feel so honoured and incredibly grateful just to be a part of this country music community that inspires me. Receiving this ACM Award feels like belief from that community, and that means so much to me.”
Still to come, Townes is also nominated for Musical Event of the Year for “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack and Elle King at this year’s ACM Awards. Townes will also perform during the awards ceremony, which will air on CBS on Wednesday, Sept. 16th.
This recognition continues a breakout year for Townes, whose is the most nominated artist at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards with six nominations and whose critically acclaimed debut album, The Lemonade Stand, is out now on Columbia Nashville in partnership with RCA Records (stream/purchase here). Produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town), the album consists of twelve songs written by Townes including “When I Meet My Maker,” which she recently performed on NBC’s “ TODAY.” Recent critical praise for The Lemonade Stand includes:
“it’s ultimately hopeful, empathetic, and supremely welcome at a moment when it’s easy to start feeling like everything looks pretty bleak”—Rolling Stone
“The Lemonade Stand is a good country album just about any way you spin it…Tenille Townes has the talent and energy that turns country singers into country stars”—Paste
“overflowing with longing, love and light…a unique sound in country, containing a fierceness that’s a perfect fit for her passion-packed lyrics”—People
“finds her a confident and credible artist clearly capable of courting widespread crossover appeal…one of country’s most promising up and comers”—American Songwriter
Lyrically, Tenille Townes’ American debut The Lemonade Stand may be the best of 2020…the humble master of turning a social statement into a poetic, concise and melodic country song”—Taste of Country
“It’s the kind of refreshing country music you didn’t even know your life was thirsty for”—CMT
“there’s nothing more integral to Townes’ first full-length career venture than this sense of community…continues the tradition of country music as a storytelling medium.”—Forbes
“Whether the ambiance in her songs welcomes in elements of carefree pop, country-leaning strings or unembellished acoustic guitar, Townes sketches truth throughout every song”—Music Row
Of the album, Townes reflects, “The Lemonade Stand is a collection of songs that mean so much to me and are the way I see the world in this season of my life right now. I want this music to be like a gathering place, where people can come and be filled up. I hope this record reminds people of who they are, that they are not alone, and reminds them of their dreams. This record is the dream that I had when I was a seven-year-old kid singing along in the backseat of the car. She would really be freaking out right now.”
In celebration of the album release, Townes recently raised $89,000 during her virtual “Big Hearts For Big Kids” fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting two organisations: Sunrise House (a local youth shelter in Townes’ hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta) and Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Troop 6000 (an initiative that supports girls without permanent housing in the Nashville area). In the eleven years since Townes started the annual fundraiser, “Big Hearts For Big Kids” has raised over $2 million. Hosted at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, the event featured Townes performing songs from the new album as well as special at-home performances from Dierks Bentley, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Caylee Hammack, Ashley McBryde, Lori McKenna, Chrissy Metz, John Osborne and Lucie Silvas.
The release of The Lemonade Stand adds to breakthrough series of years for Townes, who is a MusicRow 2020 Next Big Thing Artist, an iHeartCountry’s “On The Verge” artist and has been included in Amazon Music’s “2019 Artists To Watch,” CMT’s “Next Women of Country,” iHeart Radio’s “Artists To Watch in 2019,” “The Bobby Bones Show’s” “Class of 2019,” CMT’s “Listen Up” and the inaugural class of “Opry NextStage.” Additionally, she is featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s new American Currents: State of the Music exhibit.