CMA winners and current nominees Maddie & Tae turn a “Broken Heart” into a symbol of “perseverance”

William Hamilton

In 2014, Maddie & Tae burst on the scene, topping the chart with their debut single, “Girl in a Country Song,” and winning the CMA for Music Video of the Year.

Though nominated for Vocal Duo for seven consecutive years, the catchy #1 still seemed to raise the question of if they might be a novelty. That all changed last year, however, thanks to “Die from a Broken Heart.”

“When we came out with ‘Girl in a Country Song,’ it was like ‘one-hit wonder’ or ‘they’re gimmicks,’ that kind of thing,” Maddie Font says candidly. “I think ‘Die from a Broken Heart’ was our moment to say, ‘No, we’re not a one-trick pony. We’ve got so much to uncover…'”

“I was so emotional the week that it went #1,” she continues. “I didn’t even care if it went #1, just the fact that it got up there, I was happy.”

After changing record labels and nearly five years between albums, the duo’s recent success has helped make sense of their struggles.

“It was a really cool God moment for me,” Maddie tells ABC Audio, “because there’s never pain without purpose.’

“I think we wrote ‘Die from a Broken Heart’ in one of the most painful seasons of life,” she reveals. “Fast-forward, three years later — it didn’t feel like it fast-forwarded, it took forever. But ‘Die from a Broken Heart” to me represents perseverance in our career.”

“So every time I hear that song, I’m just reminded that we can go through some really tough times and we always come out stronger,” she adds.  

See if Maddie & Tae pick up a new trophy Wednesday, as the 55th CMA Awards air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

You can also check out their recent appearance on public television’s Front and Center.

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