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Jenee Fleenor makes history as first woman nominated for CMA Musician of the Year

Posted at 3:02 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 19:44:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — CMA Awards nominations are some of the most talked about award nominations in Nashville, and while most people tend to talk about Entertainer of the Year or Album of the Year, this year, history was made in the Musician of the Year category.

For the first time ever, a woman was nominated in the Musician of the Year category: Jenee Fleenor.

“I was a hot mess, like just crying," Fleenor remembered from when she found out she was nominated.

Fleenor is best known for playing fiddle in Blake Shelton's band, but she's also recorded with Jon Pardi, Rascal Flatts, Trisha Yearwood, and Steven Tyler.

Fleenor said since she was a child, she knew she wanted to be a studio musician in Nashville, and this nomination among her friends and heroes is a huge honor.

“It’s just really a gift because all of these guys are my heroes of my friends and they inspire me daily," Fleenor said.

When she was nominated, Fleenor hadn't realized that she was the first woman to be nominated in the Musician of the Year category at the CMA Awards, but after thinking about it, she said it made sense. “I can only think of a handful of women that I work with in the studio on the musician side and the engineering side.”

Fleenor said she hopes that changes, and that more women get into the business and follow their dreams.

“I wish there were more women, but it’s just kind of the way it’s been and the way it is," Fleenor said. “I would encourage if there’s any little girls out there to go for it.”

This article will be updated throughout the day with a full report coming from NewsChannel 5's Jesse Knutson at 5 and 6 p.m.