Ingrid Andress' multiple 2020 CMA Awards nominations are not only a validation of her hard work, she says, but also what makes her stand out in the modern country landscape.

Andress appears in two 2020 CMA Awards categories, New Artist of the Year and Song of the Year, the latter for her tear-jerking debut hit, "More Hearts Than Mine." She admits that she was shocked when she and labelmate Gabby Barrett announced their own names as 2020 CMA Awards nominees from the Grand Ole Opry stage in September.

"I was really surprised," Andress recalled in a Zoom interview, "because I still feel very new."

Since breaking onto the mainstream country music scene in 2019, Andress has established herself as one of the genre's most promising rising acts, embracing the storytelling nature of country music, but with a modern edge. As seamlessly as she tugs at the heartstrings with the sentimental, chart-topping "More Hearts Than Mine," she pushes back against stereotypes with such sharp lyrics as "Sometimes I'm not polite / Don't bite my tongue, I speak my mind / Let curse words fly when s--t goes wrong" in her confident current single, "Lady Like."

Andress says she is honored to be recognized by the country music industry for the uniqueness she brings to her music. It's a quality she vows to keep, too.

"Just being affirmed by your peers in the country music world, it's really relieving to be honest, because a lot of the times, if you're too different, people will be like, 'You're too different for us,'" she explains. "So the fact that people are like, 'We like that you're different,' is really nice because I wasn't going to change. So it's more of like a 'Thank God' kind of thing."

Fans will find out if Andress takes home any prizes when the 2020 CMA Awards broadcast from Nashville's Music City Center on Wednesday night (Nov. 11) at 8PM ET on ABC.

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