One Minnesotan had a very exciting morning Thursday (February 10th) when she snagged a coveted nomination at the 2022 ACM Awards. We love a good Minnesota country music connection.

The ACM Awards are starting fresh this year, with a new venue in Nashville and a new means of airing the award show. For the first time of any major award show, the event will be completely streamed rather than streamed over the air on a major television channel.

Dolly Parton has been tapped to host, which means anyone without Amazon Prime will likely get it, even if temporarily, to watch the queen of country music take the stage for the two-hour show. Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen, reining ACM New Artists Of The Year, will help her host.

They also helped name off some of the nominees on Thursday morning via Twitter. The duo shared the nominees in some major categories, including Male and Female Artist Of The Year and the new artist categories they won last year.

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Someone in one of those categories is from Minnesota and her name might sound familiar! If it doesn't, it certainly will soon. Caitlyn Smith was named a nominee in the New Female Artist Of The Year category, clinching a surprise nomination.

She will have to fight it out with other newcomers Lainey Wilson, Tenille Arts, Priscilla Block and Lily Rose, who are also nominated in the New Female Artist Of The Year category. Meanwhile, Smith has her first big hit on her hands as her song with Old Dominion continues to climb the charts on country radio.

Smith is certainly deserving of the nomination and it has been a long time coming. She has been working in Nashville for years, making a name for herself and even releasing a critically-acclaimed debut album that went on many "best of the year" lists.

Now, her time to really shine in the spotlight seems to have arrived as her current single climbs the chart and this nomination is icing on the cake. She shared her excitement about it on Instagram shortly after the nominees were announced, sharing her shock over making it into the category.

All of the ladies in the category are amazing but I can't help but feel like we need to root for our Minnesota girl! In case you didn't know, Caitlyn is from Cannon Falls, a small town in Minnesota. She even has a song about St. Paul, showing some pride in being from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The song reads as a love letter to the state.

She even splits her time between Nashville and Minnesota and often documents her adventures on social media. She returned to Minnesota late last year to open for George Strait at his long-awaited show at U.S. Bank Stadium. She killed it AND the show made history for having record-breaking attendance. That's not a bad homecoming if you ask me.

Now, she could have an ACM Award to her name. We will have to wait and see who wins the category when the show streams live on Amazon Prime. You can catch it on March 7th. Win or lose, we are proud of our Minnesota girl!

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