Zach Bryan’s Top New Artist Win Just Made BBMAs History
Zach Bryan picked up four trophies at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (Nov. 19), and in one category, he did something that's never been done before.
The singer won Top New Artist, an all-genre category and one of the most hotly-anticipated of the night. His win broke a record both for the BBMAs and for Bryan's home genre: It marks the first time a country artist has taken home the title.
Chances were actually pretty good that that record was going to be broken at Sunday night's ceremony, because three out of the five nominees in the New Artist category hail from the country genre. Bryan beat out Bailey Zimmerman and Jelly Roll to win the trophy, as well as two non-country contenders, rapper Ice Spice and and Mexican and reggaeton artist Peso Plum.
In addition to his New Artist win, Bryan scooped up three more genre-specific categories, but none of them were country. Actually, he excelled in rock fields, winning Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album (for American Heartbreak) and Top Rock Song (for "Something in the Orange").
Some important context for Bryan's record-setting New Artist win: The BBMAs used to feature a Top New Country Artist category, and his record excludes artists who won that award. However, country artists were still eligible for the all-genre Top New Artist category during those years.
Country music did well at the 2023 BBMAs. Morgan Wallen was the most-awarded artist of the night, claiming 11 trophies, and Taylor Swift was hot on his heels with 10. Zac Brown Band won Top Country Duo/Group at the awards show.
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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes