When the 2017 CMA Awards nominations were announced in early September, there were a number of unexpected names popping up in various categories. Yes, the biggest honors -- Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year -- will still go to the genre's tried-and-true superstars ... but seeing rising stars such as Old Dominion and Maddie & Tae in the running for Vocal Group of the Year and Vocal Duo of the Year, respectively, is perhaps a sign that the up-and-comers are breaking through on the awards circuit.

That's to say nothing of Jon Pardi's Song of the Year and Single of the Year nominations, either, not to mention Brothers Osborne's Music Video of the Year nod. And not to knock New Artist of the Year nominees such as Lauren Alaina, Old Dominion and Pardi, but it's also exciting to see Luke Combs and Brett Young -- two truly new artists, who only released their debut singles and albums within the past year -- in the running as well.

Still, there are some other up-and-comers who could have easily earned nods in non-New Artist of the Year categories, too. Flip through the photo gallery below to see The Boot's picks for seven rising country stars who deserved 2017 CMA Awards nominations in various categories.

The 2017 CMA Awards are scheduled to air on ABC on Nov. 8, at 8PM ET; the ceremony will take place live at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the 2017 CMA Awards for the 10th year in a row.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2017 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood's Most Unforgettable CMA Awards Moments

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