Crank It Country Predictions For 51st Annual CMA Awards
Ahhh it's that time of year again, folks! There's a chill in the air and it's country music's biggest night! Tonight, everyone's favorite country music stars will gather in Music City for a night of supporting the accomplishments of the peers, being fake happy for them win they win, and secretly hiding all of their rage and crying on the way home if they do not emerge victorious (Oh yeah, it was an honor just to be nominated? DON'T TELL ME THOSE LIES, WE BOTH KNOW YOU WANTED THAT WIN).
So many categories, so many nominations. WHO KNOWS WHO WILL TAKE HOME THE GOLD??? Welp. No one does. BUT. That doesn't mean we can't take a crack at some guesses! Here's our list of nominees and our picks for who will win the big bucks! (JK there's no money involved, just an immense amount of pride)
New Artist of the Year:
Nominations - Brett Young, Jon Pardi, Old Dominion, Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs
Our Pick - LAUREN ALAINA. Though not entirely a newcomer (she was the runner-up on season 10 of American Idol and subsequently released her debut album, Wildflowers, in 2011), it was her most recent 2017 album, Road Less Traveled, that launched her into the country music eye. It's been a killer year for Lauren, scoring hits on her own and being featured on the smash hit, "What Ifs" with Kane Brown.
Vocal Duo of the Year:
Nominations - Maddie & Tae, LOCASH, Florida Georgia Line, Dan + Shay, Brothers Osborne
Our Pick - DAN + SHAY. Though their record Obsessed was released in 2016, it's been this year that they have been scoring hit singles from the album. I mean come on, who doesn't have "How Not To" stuck in their head like ALL the time?
Vocal Group of the Year:
Nominations - Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown Band
Our Pick - LADY ANTEBELLUM. This has been quite the successful year for Lady A, with an album, a slew of hit singles, and a MASSIVE world tour (Sadly cut short by Hillary Scott's pregnancy. But also, not sadly, because GO HER). Lady A All the Way.
Male Vocalist of the Year:
Nominations - Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban
Our Pick - THOMAS RHETT. While Chris Stapleton is ALWAYS killer and a solid choice, something tells me this is Thomas Rhett's year to shine. His latest record, Life Changes, was met with pretty much universal acclaim, and on top of that, I feel like I see his name every time I'm looking through country music news. Plus, not that this has anything to do with it, but he seems like the nicest guy EVER, right? Seems like a winner to me.
Female Vocalist of the Year:
Nominations - Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood
Our Pick - KELSEA BALLERINI. Come on y'all, this is pretty much a no brainer. One of the hottest artists in country music AND she just released a fire new album. Case closed.
Song of the Year:
Nominations - "Tin Man" Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall; "Dirt On My Boots" Rhett Atkins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley; "Body Like A Back Road" Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne; "Blue Ain't Your Color" Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen; "Better Man" Taylor Swift
Our Pick - "BETTER MAN". Penned by Queen T-Sweezy herself as almost a return to her roots after a departure into pop music, I think this song is something that country music has been dying for ever since the release of 1989 (No disrespect to this album though because its freaking awesome).
Album of the Year:
Nominations - The Breaker by Little Big Town, From A Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton, Heart Break by Lady Antebellum, The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Weight of These Wings by Miranda Lambert
Our Pick - THE WEIGHT OF THESE WINGS. Though I will admit, Chris and Jason had two of my favorite albums of the year, I think this one's gonna go to Miranda. I mean, come on. A double concept album that will break and inspire you? She's got this in the bag.
Single of the Year:
Nominations - "Better Man" Little Big Town, "Blue Ain't Your Color" Keith Urban, "Body Like A Back Road" Sam Hunt, "Dirt On My Boots" Jon Pardi, "Tin Man" Miranda Lambert
Our Pick - "BODY LIKE A BACK ROAD". This will either be the number one choice or the last choice. This song was a HUGE cross-genre hit which could either be beneficial or detrimental due to the fact that some might see it as too much of a pop song. Regardless, this was a massive success and I think it has great potential for single of the year.
Entertainer of the Year:
Nominations - Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban
Our Pick - ERIC CHURCH. This one is super tough to call. On one hand, Garth Brooks has been on a world tour for the past three years and has sold over six million tickets. Chris Stapleton is always in high demand, but he had to abstain from a few shows shortly after the release of his record due to a hand injury. The gut tells me Eric Church this year. His "Holding My Own" tour was wildly successful and he would play three hours of material EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. On top of that, he's been releasing tracks from these live performances via the 61 Days in Church recordings.