Winning ACM New Female of the Year still “doesn’t feel real” to Hailey Whitters.

The Shueyville, Iowa, native earned her first ACM nomination this year, then won the first time she was nominated. This laudable feat is something few new artists can boast, and it’s certainly one that Hailey is still pinching herself about.

“I’ve been in town for 15 years, and just grinding and dreaming about just getting to come to this award show one day, you know?” Hailey tells ABC Audio. “And so to get to be here and to get to win it is a dream come true. You know, it’s totally surreal for me.” 

The 58th Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks, streams live on Prime Video Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m. ET.

Hailey’s debut single, “Everything She Ain’t,” is approaching the top 20 on the country charts. The track is off her acclaimed 2022 album, Raised.

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