Madeline Merlo released her debut album Free Soul in 2016. (CONTRIBUTED)

B.C. singer up against Shania Twain for Canadian country music award

Madeline Merlo and Shania Twain are two of five nominees for female artist of the year.

Maple Ridge-raised artist Madeline Merlo is up for a Canadian country music award in the same category as Shania Twain.

Merlo is nominated for the Canadian Country Music Association’s female artist of the year.

In a Facebook post, Merlo calls Shania Twain her hero.

“I could cry. Can’t believe I’ve been blessed to be nominated for this award three years in a row. So grateful to be considered with so many amazing women and my actual hero, Shania Twain.”

A post from Merlo on Instagram said she was reflecting on the nomination.

“Got the news I was nominated for a CCMA in a category with Shania Twain,” Merlo wrote. “I wish I could go back in time and tell 11-year-old Madeline that. I guess what I’m saying is that anything is possible if you make it happen. So move to your dream city, chase your crazy dreams and spend your time doing what you love.”

Other nominees in the same catefory are Jess Moskaluke, Lindsay Ell and Meghan Patrick.

Merlo said her newest single, Neon Love, is among the Top 20 songs on Canadian country radio and has been streamed over a million times.

Merlo’s debut alum, Free Soul, was released in 2016.

The country singer relocated from Toronto to Nashville last year. Merlo is back in Canada for summer tour dates, including concerts in Ottawa, Oro-medonte, Penticton, Calgary and Port Perry.