MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The Country Music Association Awards show is considered one of country music's biggest nights.
The 51st Annual Country Music Association Awards last Wednesday featured incredible performances and highlighted some of country music's biggest stars.
One South Mississippi singer-songwriter played a part in selecting the nominees and winners.
Escatawpa singer-songwriter Derek Norsworthy has a passion for country music. He splits his time between the coast and Nashville singing at different venues and writing hundreds of songs a year.
Three years ago, he was approached by a friend to become a voting member of the CMA awards through the CMA Foundation.
"I didn't realize that that was something or anything that I could be. Every year we have the opportunity to nominate artists and vote for artists who win the CMA awards," Norsworthy explained.
The aspiring professional singer-songwriter said his membership in the CMA Foundation has allowed him to give back to music culture and heritage.
He says when selecting an artist for a CMA award, he looks at their song.
"I'm listening to the structure and the wording and just what the song is doing to move people. I like positive songs too. More than anything just a great song," said Norsworthy.
While the winners weren't revealed until the show aired, Norsworthy did say who he voted for for entertainer of the year.
"Luke Bryan, he has consistently sold out stadiums. His live show and ticket show sales, no one is really touching him as far as ticket sales go and the reason people are going is because he is an entertaining guy," said Norsworthy.
His love for country music runs deeper than casting votes. It's a love that could one day transform him from voter to an actually CMA award nominee.
Norsworthy is the singer songwriter for the official fight song, "Home of the Lions" that you heard in this story. It is featured in the netflix series, "Last Chance U." Norsworthy currently in studio working with Grammy award winning producer Skidd Mills on his album.