Country fans chose "Flower Shops" singer Ernest as the No. 1 artist to watch during the month-long 2022 Hot List Awards. The Hot Under the Radar category featured 10 exciting country newcomers and voting remained close until the very last day.

The Tennessee native bested (in this order) Priscilla Block, Breland, Jackson Dean, Frank Ray, Alexandra Kay, Morgan Wade, Jelly Roll, Callista Clark and Muscadine Bloodline. After two weeks of voting, the Top 5 were extracted as finalists, allowing country music lovers to.truly target the one most deserving artist.

Earlier this year, Ernest visited the Taste of Country studio to play his radio single and talk about his country music roots:

"I was — still am — on a George Jones kick," Ernest says. "Listening to just the greats, Kristofferson, Willie, 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain' and stuff like that."

"The Eagles — a lot of the songs on the album had already been written before I wrote 'Flower Shops' the song, and then a handful of them were written after 'Flower Shops' was written. Once we wrote 'Flower Shops' is when I was like, 'This is the centerpiece to an album, and then I can pull other songs that relate to this same guy.'"

The Hot Under the Radar Award was Ernest's only win during the first Taste of Country Summer Hot List Awards. The seven categories were won by seven different artists, including Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson and more. Voting wrapped up on Memorial Day and winners have been announced all week.

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