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New faces at CMAs mark change in country music

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — There’s a sea change going on in Music City — and the Country Music Association Awards are in the middle of it.

When country music’s biggest stars take the stage Thursday night in Nashville, you’ll see many of your favorites from the last decade. But new faces are dominating the genre as country’s fan base shifts to a younger-skewing audience.

From Taylor Swift’s army of empowered young women to the power-drinking party boys who prefer lead nominee Eric Church and Jason Aldean, country’s audience is much different than it was 10 years ago. Church benefited with five nominations, including album and male vocalist of the year.

Country performers who have tasted their most significant success within the last five years outnumber the more established stars. Those newer artists received the lion’s share of the nominations.

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