We all know there are several hundred great female country artist out there who get absolutely no consideration. Music is about much more than you and your songs.....it's about the TEAM of professionals you have around you. RIGHT NOW TEAM TAYLOR IS SMOKING! Either that, there is some fishy business going on with the voters, which I sincerely doubt.
If someone gave me $500 to go see my favorite nominee, I would have to pick Jennifer Nettles.....she makes a connection with me on most all her songs and how can you not see the passion on her face and hear it in her voice...but, that is just me.
Your music is like a circle....you're the center, but what completes your circle is how well your work all the pieces, large or small and how consistent you work them with your team members.
Most important, how you build your fan base of what I call True Blue Fans. Without them your career will remain stagnant. Some say you need 1,000 .... I say you need and want as many as you can connect with..... I ask all artist fans to recruit 1 new TBF / month. If this happens, your TBF base can be at 5,000 -10,000 within in 3-5 years. Data shows each new TBF will spend on average $100 / year on you. Which means 5,000 TBF generates $500,000 / year in gross income; 10,000 TBF generates $1,000,000 in gross sales / year. Either way, record deal or no record deal, in 3-5 years most any artist will become successful touring and earning a good living, not only for her, but members of her team. There are many ways to have TBF and have them become one of the most import parts of your circle (team). If you now have 1,000 TBF and each one brings 1 new TBF / month, in one year you have 12,000 and once you get to that level your career will explode. You may not ever be on the CMA awards, but, who cares if your making a wonderful living and having fun doing what you love to do. When you become a confide touring artist and are make it on your own, more than likely a label will show up and that's when you have the power to not give away your future and when you can make a deal or not, that will be a win/win for you and for the label.....many more details to this.
Anastasia Brown has written much about this as well as many others....spend your time working your career and keeping your fans informed and not so much as those who don't support you, your music, your shows, and your team.