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Thompson Square Says ACM Award Is ‘The Cherry On Top’

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Photo by Anthony Baker, courtesy Stoney Creek Records

Photo by Anthony Baker, courtesy Stoney Creek Records

Annie Reuter
Annie Reuter
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Nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year by the Academy of Country Music for the second year in a row, Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square have much to celebrate. Radio.com sat down with the couple recently and learned what it was like for them to win their first ACM Award last year–and what advice they have for current nominees.

“One thing we were told early on being on a small label was that we would never win anything,” Keifer explained.

That all changed for the duo last year when they accepted their first ACM for Vocal Duo of the Year. But while Keifer and Shawna are grateful for the win, they said it’s not something that motivates them. “It’s not the awards that drives what we do. It’s the music and the fans and the experience,” Keifer said.

“The awards are just the cherry on top,” Shawna added.

“Being told that you’ll never win anything and accepting that in the beginning and then winning [Vocal] Duo of the Year it’s like, ‘What? What just happened?’ And then being nominated again for the second year in a row, it’s just amazing,” Keifer said. “It’s something that we always dreamed about but never quite thought . . . I don’t think you ever think that you’re going to win that but that would be nice if you did.”

It’s a night the band say they’ll never forget.

“It was really special, too, the way that they gave it to us, because we weren’t expecting it at all,” Shawna explained. “We were out here playing for some military families in a parking lot, and then all of a sudden they decided to read the nominees and give the trophy to us. My mom was there so it made it really special. For one night we were the only ACM winners in Vegas. It was pretty neat.”

While the band hopes for a second win this year, they shared some advice for current ACM nominees.

“Please don’t write a speech beforehand,” Keifer said. “The special moment that we had is because we didn’t even have time to think about it and that’s when the raw, organic emotion comes out and that’s what your fans want to feel and see. That you’re just a normal person that won something.”

“It’s like them getting a promotion at their job or getting married. Just because you’re in the limelight a little bit doesn’t mean you don’t have those feelings inside. Don’t prepare something unless you don’t want to show that.”

Will Thompson Square win their second ACM for Vocal Duo of the Year? Tune into the 48th ACM Awards on Sunday, April 7 at 8pm ET on CBS to find out.

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