Recently the Country Music Association announced that Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will once again be hosts of the CMA Awards, which will be held November 1st. By now you guys should know that I am big awards show fan so the announcement lit the fire of excitement for awards season. Not to mention CMA ballots were just recently sent out to voters which means the list of nominees will be made known in the not-so-distant future (maybe next month?). So to get ready, I am predicting who will snag a coveted spot in each category!
This first round of predictions features the artist categories while the album and song categories will be featured in a later post. Do you guys agree or disagree with my picks? Who do you think I left out? Let me know!!
This year’s Entertainer race will look a lot like last year’s. Reigning winner Taylor Swift will no doubt be in the running to win her third trophy in the last four years. Meanwhile Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, and Blake Shelton should be back in the race this year considering they have been some of the biggest artists in the genre. The fifth spot went to Keith Urban last year but I believe he’ll be kicked out of the category to make room for Kenny Chesney, who once again has the top country music tour with his co-headlining venture with Tim McGraw.
Just like the Entertainer race, the Male Vocalist category will include four returning nominees including two-time winner Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, and Brad Paisley. Last year Keith Urban surprisingly snuck into this category, but with a handful of new male superstars taking over country radio, he won’t be back this year. That will leave one spot open for three frontrunners who should all nab their first nomination in this category. They include Luke Bryan, Eric Church, and Chris Young. It’ll be interesting to see who gets that last spot, but if I had to pick a horse I’d pick Luke to get his first vocalist nomination.
This category hasn’t seen much change in recent years and this year will be no different. All five ladies – Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood – from last year will all be back again this year. The only thing that won’t be the same? Miranda Lambert will be faced with a challenge from Underwood for the title.
Once again we find a category that will see little change this year. Four spots are locks for returning nominees The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts, and Zac Brown Band as well reigning champs Lady Antebellum. The fifth and final spot usually belongs to category fillers Little Big Town, but this year they’ll be challenged for that last spot by the smoking hot Eli Young Band. With “Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” being two of the most played singles in the past year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see EYB get the nod.
This year’s Vocal Duo race will be an interesting one. The obvious locks are last year’s winner Sugarland and this year’s frontrunner Thompson Square. The other three spots will simply be fillers who won’t be much of a challenge to the previously mentioned duos for the win. Last year saw Steel Magnolia slide in, but they’ll most likely be replaced by Love & Theft this year. Meanwhile The Civil Wars and Montgomery Gentry could possibly round out the category for another year.
Out of all the categories, I am most excited to see who will land a spot in this year’s New Artist race. Two spots will no doubt be occupied by returning nominees Eric Church and Thompson Square (who will be this year’s frontrunners). That leaves three spots open for a ton of artists to take. The Eli Young Band should claim one of those spots based off the momentum “Crazy Girl” and “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” has created for the group. I’m going out on a limb by saying newcomer Kip Moore will nab a spot based off the massive success of his breakout single, “Somethin’ Bout a Truck.” That leaves one spot open for one of the following six “new” artists: Jake Owen, Lee Brice, Scotty McCreery, Love & Theft, Gloriana, and Jana Kramer. That race is too close for me to call but I would bet on Owen and Brice based on the past year alone.