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Interview: ACM Award Nominees Thompson Square Remember Their ‘Unexpected’ First Win

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By Annie Reuter

“When we sit down to write we try to take Tom T. Hall‘s advice,” Shawna Thompson, one half of married duo, Thompson Square, told Radio.com. “He’s a Hall of Fame songwriter, and he always said to write what you know. So that’s what we try and do. It comes from the heart.”

By writing what they know, Shawna and her husband Keifer Thompson have had much success throughout their careers. It comes as little surprise, then, that the two are nominated for the third consecutive year at the 49th annual ACM Awards as Vocal Duo of the Year — an award they won in both 2012 and 2013.

Related: See all 2014 ACM Award nominees

“One thing we were told early on being on a small label was that we’d never win anything,” Keifer said. “We went ahead and went forward with it just because it’s not the awards that drives what we do. It’s the music, the fans and the experience. The awards are the amazing exclamation point at the end of the sentence.”

He added: “Being told that you’ll never win anything and accepting that in the beginning and then winning Duo of the Year it’s like, ‘What? What just happened?’ And then being nominated again, it’s just amazing. It’s something we always dreamed about but never quite thought, ‘I’m going to win that one day.’ But it’d be nice if you did.”

Related: Keifer and Shawna Thompson remember their first time on the radio

While the duo are hoping this year continues their two-time winning streak, they look back on their very first surprise win in 2012.

“It was really special the way that they gave us,” Shawna said. “We didn’t expect it at all. We were playing for some military families in a parking lot, and then all of a sudden they decided to read the nominees and give the trophy to us. My mom was there, so it made it really special. For one night, we were the only ACM winners in Vegas.”

“We’re going to try to do it again this year,” Keifer added.

The 49th annual ACM Awards will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on Sunday, April 6 at 8pm ET/PT on CBS.

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