Cole Swindell’s ‘She Had Me at Heads Carolina’ Wins Single of the Year at the 2023 ACMs
Cole Swindell's "She Had Me at Heads Carolina" won Single of the Year at the 2023 ACM Awards on Thursday night (May 11). He claimed his trophy in person at the ceremony, which was held at Frisco, Texas' Ford Center.
Tanya Tucker presented the award, commenting, "This is great," before she read Swindell's name and song title.
The singer was visibly overwhelmed as he made his way up to the stage. It was his second trophy of the night, after he previously won the Song of the Year category, also for "She Had Me at Heads Carolina."
"I don't know what's going on, y'all, but I do wanna take a second to thank the fans," Swindell said from the stage. "...That's all I've ever been. There's so many people in that category that are so deserving of this. I don't know what I ever did to get this fortunate."
The singer then went on to thank his team and all the people who helped him create the song and send it to country radio, concluding, "I'm just proud to be here tonight. Let's enjoy the night and....Dolly Parton's here, man!"
The Single of the Year trophy is awarded to the artist, as well as any producers and record labels associated with the winning song. In 2023, "She Had Me at Heads Carolina" beat out Lainey Wilson's "Heart Like a Truck," Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde's "Never Wanted to Be That Girl," Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown's "Thank God" and Cody Johnson's "'Til You Can't."
Swindell's fun update on a '90s classic made waves as a standout radio single in 2022, quickly shooting to the No. 1 spot on the charts. Of course, "She Had Me at Heads Carolina" is heavily influenced by Jo Dee Messina's original "Heads Carolina, Tails California," and Messina and Swindell gave a rousing performance of their remixed song earlier in the night.
The 2023 ACM Awards streamed live on Amazon Prime Video. Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks co-hosted the show, marking the first time that the two living legends have worked together, as well as the first time Brooks has hosted any major awards show.