Dan + Shay are huge fans of their fellow ACM nominees — but they're also “super competitive” about winning


Dan + Shay have won ACM Duo of the Year for two years running, and they’ve got a chance to pick up a third trophy in the category this year.

But competition is tight: They’re up against Florida Georgia Line, Brothers Osborne and Brooks & Dunn — all three of whom have been named Duo of the Year at least once — as well as Maddie & Tae, who are coming off a banner year with the success of their “Die from a Broken Heart.”

Ahead of this year’s show, the band’s Dan Smyers admits that even though they’re huge fans of every act nominated in the category, they’re hoping to win.

“Man — I don’t know, we love winning awards,” he says. “Anybody who says they don’t, I think they’d be lying. We’re all super competitive, to get to this point in our careers where we’re even nominated. Everybody works hard.”

Though Dan + Shay may be on a hot streak at awards shows these days, they know what it feels like to lose.

“If you don’t win, it’s not a testament that you were lesser than somebody. It’s just the way the cookie crumbled that day. But it hurts, man,” Dan reflects. “…I remember sitting at a couple of awards shows when ‘Tequila’ was happening…You get your hopes up…And then you lose and you’re like, ‘Does the song suck?’”

But ultimately, awards shows win and nominations are just one aspect of a career that they’re lucky to have.

“You take a step back and you’re just grateful to be doing music and that people are willing to listen,” Dan notes.

Dan + Shay are also performing their new song, “Glad You Exist,” at the ACMs. The show airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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