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A rising country star takes home the Rare Country Award for Best New Artist Instagram/BrettYoungMusic

This was not the easiest year to be nominated in the New Artist of the Year category at the Rare Country Awards, because let’s just say the competition was very tight. Artists such as Jon Pardi, Midland, RaeLynn, LANCO and Luke Combs all had amazing years filled with hits, accomplishments and awards, and Rare Country fans had quite a challenge to determine who was worthy of the win.

But yes, we have ourselves a winner. And that winner is none other than Brett Young.

The Rare Country Awards winners were announced Dec. 14 during a livestreamed concert event at Acme Feed & Seed in Nashville.

The Anaheim, California, native and former baseball player’s fans were quick to make their love known. The combination of Brett’s good looks, humble attitude and incredible talent has made him not only a winner in his fans’ eyes, but also a true snapshot of the future of country music.

RELATED: Brett Young speaks out about 2017’s ultimate wedding song

The award caps off an incredible year both in the studio and on the road in 2017. Brett released his gold-certified, self-titled debut record, which includes the back-to-back No. 1 hits “Sleep Without You” and “In Case You Didn’t Know.” The latter song even landed Brett on the list of most-played tracks on Amazon Music Unlimited, ranking alongside musical powerhouses like Demi Lovato, Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran, as well as fellow country stars Sam Hunt, Luke Combs and Kelsea Ballerini.

RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young take us inside the Lady Antebellum baby boom

Following an impressive run of shows opening for Lady Antebellum, Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan, Brett also launched the “Caliville Tour,” his first headlining run, this fall.

If that wasn’t enough, Brett was recently surprised at a show in Dallas with the news that his current single, “Like I Loved You,” has reached Gold certification status.

“I think it probably felt the same way it feels for everybody hearing that,” Brett told Rare Country earlier this year about the meaning of the song and what it’s like when you hear you will be entering the friend zone with a love interest. “Man, it’s insulting. You’re breaking my heart. You know you’re breaking my heart. You’re uncomfortable in the conversation. It’s almost like saying after a really bad first date, and you know you’re never going to call the person, and be like, ‘OK, I’ll call you,’ just to get out of the conversation.”

We know what you mean, Brett.

Of course, now it’s time to look forward to 2018, as Brett already has a packed schedule of tour dates through the month of April, including a performance at the College Football Playoffs on Jan. 8.

Congratulations, Brett!

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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