ACountry salutes Thompson Square, winners of the ACM Vocal Duo of the Year. ACM CEO Bob Romeo surprised the husband and wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson onstage at the ACM Salute to the Military Concert at the ACM Experience at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday night—just moments after they had completed their set. The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live tonight (April 1) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Thompson Square – who was officially honored as “Country Music’s Breakthrough Artist of 2011” by Music Row Magazine in February — dethroned reigning Country superstars Sugarland who have won the award for 2 years. Sugarland is also the reigning CMA Awards Vocal Duo for the past 4 years.
Thompson Square becomes only the third duo to win the ACM “Vocal Duo of the Year” Award in the past 20 years (since 1991) with Sugarland and Brooks & Dunn previously winning in the category respectively.
“It’s been a long, long road,” Keifer Thompson told the crowd. “This is one of the greatest nights of our lives.” Overcome with emotion, he continued, “It’s hard to talk when you’re crying.”
“This is a very bittersweet moment for me,” added Shawna Thompson as she fought back tears. “More sweet than bitter. My dad passed away a month ago. This is for my dad.”
Thompson Square’s win is a Country Music Cinderella Story of sorts as the duo is hardly an “overnight success,” despite its quickly skyrocketing career.
In fact, Keifer and Shawna Thompson pounded the pavement for 13 years in the music industry before finally signing to tiny independent label Stoney Creek Records. The young married couple worked odd jobs, played bar shows and knocked on countless closed doors during that time before deciding they would hang up their microphones after one last year of perseverance. During one final showcase, Broken Bow Records President/ CEO Benny Brown recognized something special in Thompson Square and signed them to his brand new independent label Stoney Creek Records (sister label to Broken Bow Records and home to Jason Aldean).
Two years ago to this very DAY, Thompson Square was first introduced to Country Radio at a suite performance during ACM Awards weekend. One year ago to this very WEEK, Thompson Square’s inaugural smash, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” reached the #1 spot at Country Radio.
In only one year, Thompson Square has seen the release of its first album debut at #3 on the Billboard Country Sales Chart and its smash, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” reach #1 on both the Billboard and Mediabase Country radio charts, conquer the Billboard Heat Seekers Chart, spend 5 weeks at #1 on the Country Digital Soundscan Chart and remain the #1 Country Ringtone for 12 weeks straight. At press time, “Are You Going to Kiss Me Or Not,” was nearing double platinum sales status.
Thompson Square also earned 16 major award show nominations in less than 12 months, including two 2012 GRAMMY nominations for “Best Country Song” and “Best Country Duo/Group Performance of the Year.”
In December, Thompson Square returned home for the holidays as the 2nd most awarded act at FOX’s 2nd Annual American Country Awards, winning the fan-voted trophies for Single of the Year by a Group; Single of the Year by a New Artist; Music Video of the Year by a New Artist (“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”).
Also in 2011, Thompson Square was named one of USA Today’s “Six Pack of Success” stories, was heralded as USA Weekend’s “Who’s Hot in Hollywood,” peaked at #3 on MTV’s Music Meter (all genres) and landed on Entertainment Weekly’s “Hot List.”
Thompson Square ended 2011 as the “New Country Artist of the Year” (Mediabase) as well as Billboard’s #1 New Country Artist of 2011, in terms of sales. The duo also ranked as Billboard’s #6 New Artist of 2011 (sales - all genres) and “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” was named iTunes’ “Country Single of 2011.”
Thompson Square is currently criss-crossing the U.S. as part of Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night World Tour with upcoming stops to include two nights at NYC’s legendary Radio City Music Hall on May 3 and 4.