ACM Awards: Official Predictions

The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is finally here! The annual awards show will take place live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this Sunday night on CBS. The show will once again be hosted by Reba and Blake Shelton and will feature over-the-top performance from some of the genre’s biggest superstars. However, the entire night will revolve around the multiple trophy presentations that will take place. As with every other awards show, I will offer my predictions for the night’s big winners!

Heading into the night, Kenny Chesney is the leading nominee with 9 nominations in 6 categories. Will he big the night’s big winner? Or will other multiple nominees like Lady A, Taylor Swift, or Jason Aldean walk away with the most trophies? There could be a lot of upsets as most of the categories are the most competitive we’ve seen in years. Here are my official predictions for the big night! As usual I’ll be notating who I think should win and who will win.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
• Jason Aldean <—SHOULD WIN
• Kenny Chesney
• Brad Paisley
• Blake Shelton
• Taylor Swift  <—WILL WIN

Once again the Entertainer award will be decided by a combination of fan votes and industry voters. Taylor won last year and I’m betting she’ll take it home for a second year. Although Jason Aldean has been on fire the past year and should take it home instead.

TOP MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Jason Aldean  <—SHOULD WIN
• Kenny Chesney
• Brad Paisley
• Blake Shelton  <—WILL WIN
• Chris Young

This is a tough year for this category. You have superstar like Kenny Chesney who had another great year touring and music wise. Then you have Blake Shelton who has blown up thanks to hit singles and his role as a judge on The Voice. Then of course there’s Jason Aldean who has taken the country world by storm thanks to his My Kinda Party album. I would like to see Aldean get it, but it’s hard to compete with someone on a TV show so I’m going with Shelton.

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Sara Evans
• Miranda Lambert  <—SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN
• Martina McBride
• Taylor Swift
• Carrie Underwood

This could be the last year that Miranda goes into an awards show as the favorite with Carrie Underwood finally releasing new music this year. Lambert has continued to ride the wave of momentum that Revolution brought that not even superstar Taylor Swift will be able to steal this award from her.

TOP VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
• Love and Theft
• Montgomery Gentry
• Steel Magnolia
• Sugarland  <—WILL WIN
• Thompson Square  <—SHOULD WIN

This should be the year Sugarland’s streak ends. Thompson Square had one of the year’s most played songs in 2011 with “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?” and followed that up with another top 10 hit. This should be their year to win. However, I think due to the tragic stage collapse Sugarland endured, they may have the sympathy vote this year.

TOP VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
• The Band Perry
• Eli Young Band
• Lady Antebellum  <—SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN
• Rascal Flatts
• Zac Brown Band

Lady Antebellum continues to be the group to beat. Their album Own the Night scored them their second Best Country Album Grammy earlier this year and they continue to be a hit at country radio. I don’t see any of the four other groups dethroning them any time soon.

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Scotty McCreery  <—SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN

This is a fan voted award so it’ll be hard to beat someone who won a fan voted TV show like American Idol. I’m going with Scotty on this one, but Hunter Hayes could pose a threat since his teenage girl fan base know how to get online and vote.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
• ‘Chief‘ – Eric Church <—SHOULD WIN
• ‘Four the Record‘ – Miranda Lambert
• ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey‘ – Kenny Chesney
• ‘My Kinda Party‘ – Jason Aldean  <—WILL WIN
• ‘Own the Night‘ – Lady Antebellum

Three of these five nominees were all nominated for the Grammy award for Best Country Album with the Lady A set winning. The Aldean album took home the CMA award for Album of the Year last year. They are the clear front-runners but you can’t count out Miranda since she has taken this award home twice. My favorite of the five is the Eric Church album, but I think it’ll be Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party that takes home the trophy.

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR
• ‘Crazy Girl,’ Eli Young Band
• ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay,’ Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
• ‘Red Solo Cup,’ Toby Keith
• ‘Tomorrow,’ Chris Young  <—SHOULD WIN
• ‘You and Tequila,’ Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter  <—WILL WIN

This is another tough, tough category to call. All these singles have been huge hits for the respective artists. My favorite is the Chris Young tune and I think it should walk away with the win. But, I think the Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter tune will be the eventual winner. You have to keep an eye on the Eli Young Band and Jason/Kelly tunes.

SONG OF THE YEAR
• ‘Crazy Girl’ – Eli Young Band
• ‘Home’ – Dierks Bentley
• ‘Just a Kiss’ – Lady Antebellum
• ‘Threaten Me With Heaven’ – Vince Gill
• ‘You and Tequila’ – Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter  <—SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN

Out of these five nominated songs, the most well-written is by far and away the Chesney and Grace Potter song. Writers Deana Carter and Matraca Berg did a brilliant job as songwriters to produce one of the year’s best singles. “You and Tequila” is the clear favorite and I think it’ll walk away the winner.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
• ‘Tattoos On This Town,’ Jason Aldean  <—SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN
• ‘Homeboy,’ Eric Church
• ‘Red Solo Cup,’ Toby Keith
• ‘Just a Kiss,’ Lady Antebellum
• ‘Mean,’ Taylor Swift

This is a hard category to choose a winner. The Swift video was clever and beautifully produced. The Lady A video was one of the best concept videos of the year that included an unexpected twist. My favorite of the five though is the Jason Aldean video. It stuck to the song’s message and even had its own little twist at the end. I’m going to pick the Aldean video for the win.

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
• ‘Country Boy,’ Aaron Lewis featuring George Jones and Charlie Daniels
• ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’ Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
• ‘Old Alabama’ Brad Paisley feat. Alabama
• ‘Remind Me’ Brad Paisley duet with Carrie Underwood
• ‘You and Tequila’ Kenny Chesney feat. Grace Potter  <—SHOULD WIN, WILL WIN

An interesting line up of duets this year. Three of these songs stick out as front-runners, in my opinion: the Aldean/Clarkson smash, the Paisley/Underwood number one hit, and the critically acclaimed Chesney/Potter smash. I’m betting on the Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter tune to win.

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