NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Jason Aldean thinks this year’s Country Music Association Awards could be the start of something new.

Country music is slow to change, and so are the 6,000 members who vote for the winners of Wednesday night’s show, which airs live on ABC at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT). So when they chose first-time nominees Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton in the entertainer of the year category it meant something.

The two rising stars got to the ballot by taking very different paths, but they’ve both created a buzz around these awards and in the industry.

Aldean built his audience on the road, while Shelton capitalized on several high-profile events, including his role as a coach on “The Voice,” to raise his profile beyond the traditional country music audience.