MTSU graduates are making noise in the music industry again as the annual awards season begins to gear up.

The 53rd annual Country Music Association Awards nominations include two alumni on the official list, and five more are celebrating as part of CMA Award-nominated projects.

Multi-Grammy and CMA winner F. Reid Shippen, a 1994 recording industry grad, is back in the nominees’ seats for mixing Dierks Bentley’s single of the year collaboration with the Brothers Osborne, “Burning Man”. Rob Williford, a 2016 music business alumnus, earned a song of the year nod for co-writing Luke Combs’ “Beautiful Crazy.”

The MTSU contingent also includes some repeat honorees in the CMA’s album of the year category:

  • · Clarke Schleicher, who engineered Dan + Shay’s self-titled album nominee.
  • · Luke Laird, who co-wrote “Things You Do for Love” on Thomas Rhett’s “Center Point Road” nominee.
  • · Dave Barnes, who co-wrote “Kingdom” on Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” album.
  • · Jason A. Hall and Jimmy Mansfield, who engineered Eric Church’s “Desperate Man” project.

“Our alumni continue to make us proud with their award-worthy work, and this year’s nominees are no exception,” said Beverly Keel, chair of MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry.

“Our students look up to our alumni not only as role models, but as proof that they can be successful in achieving their dreams. I love that our alums are getting recognized in the audio production and songwriting fields, and many of our graduates are playing instrumental roles in the careers of other nominees.”

The 53rd annual CMA Awards are scheduled to be broadcast on Wednesday, Nov. 13, on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

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