Cole Swindell knows there’s never a guarantee when it comes to award nominations, but with his song “You Should Be Here,” he was really hoping to earn a nod in the CMA Song of the Year or Single of the Year categories.

The artist admits he was a little surprised that he didn’t get any love this year, not because he felt entitled, necessarily, but because the song was so special to him.

“I don’t know. It was a little shocking at first,” he tells OneCountry. “That’s not what I was really dwelling on. I didn’t know what to expect. There are so many great songs out there. I knew it could’ve gone either way. I would have liked to have seen it, just because I hope to have other hits but I’ll never have another song like that.”

The song was inspired by the passing of his father, so it’s understandable that he holds it close to his heart. Swindell made sure to add, though, that earning accolades is not the reason he made the song; he made it to resonate with fans who have experienced a similar journey and encourage them.

“That was a moment for me,” he reflects. “I could either get upset about it or I could say, ‘Why did you write this song?’ And it wasn’t to get nominated or win an award, it was to help other people. I think I’ve had every stat thing, and I know that song has served its purpose. I know how important it is to me and those people I get to see every night.”

Even though “You Should Be Here” didn’t earn any nominations on its own, Swindell is up for New Artist of the Year, which he is not taking for granted.

“Any time you get nominated for anything in the industry, that’s huge,” he says. “To have the new artist thing, we’ll see. I’m just glad I still make the qualifications with that. We’ll see what happens with that.”

The 2016 CMA Awards — celebrating the ceremony’s 50th anniversary — air live Nov. 2 from Nashville’s Bridgestone arena and will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for the ninth consecutive year.

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