49th Annual CMA Awards Nominee Predictions

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The final nominees for the 49th Annual CMA Awards won’t be announced until September 9, but I’m so excited about the show, I can’t wait that long. Plus, as an avid listener and consumer of country music, I think I can predict some of the nominees before they are even announced.

The eligibility period for the 2015 CMA Awards is July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 and I think I have most of the rules down for how nominees are selected. Minus New Artist of the Year, “… demonstrated the most significant creative growth and development in overall chart or sales activity (of a debut or sophomore album), live performance, professionalism and/or national media recognition related to the launch of their career. Any artist who has previously won a CMA Award (except Song of the Year, Musical Event of the Year and Video of the Year) or who has twice been a final nominee for the Horizon Award or New Artist of the Year Award is ineligible for nomination. Award to artist.” I guess that means anyone under 45 can win?

49th Annual CMA Awards Nominee Predictions:

Album of the Year

At least 75% of the product in the album must have first achieved national prominence during the eligibility period.

Even liner notes are considered when choosing this winner. How does one get their hands on liner notes these days? Are we looking for especially thoughtful notes? Doesn’t matter– even without reading the liner notes I think Little Big Town or Sam Hunt will take this one home. Sam Hunt?! Yes. Garth Brooks’ first new album in over a decade was a masterpiece with almost no radio airplay and a long run at the top of the charts. Don’t forget about him.

Little Big Town: Pain Killer

Sam Hunt: Montevallo

Lee Ann Womack: The Way I’m Livin’ 

Chris Stapleton: Traveller

Jason Aldean: Old Boots, New Dirt

Garth Brooks: Man Against Machine

Female Vocalist of the Year

This Award is based on individual musical performance on a solo album release. Award to artist.

I guess this award is always Miranda’s to lose, but I think Carrie could have a shot this year.

Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves

Kelsea Ballerini

Carrie Underwood

Lee Ann Womack

Male Vocalist of the Year

This Award is based on individual musical performance on a solo album release. Award to artist.

In the past, the CMA Awards haven’t been too kind to Jason Aldean, but with the success of his last album and the rate at which his singles move up the charts, they might have to this year. However, Dierks Bentley deserves this award as much as anyone. And then, there’s Eric Church, too.

Dierks Bentley

Jason Aldean

Eric Church

Luke Bryan

Blake Shelton

Keith Urban

Entertainer of the Year

Consideration not only to recorded performance, but also to the in-person performance, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership, and overall contribution to the Country Music image.

I would love to know more about the “country music image,” but there just isn’t time for that. I think it has to go to Garth Brooks, though most of these people are pretty well accepted by the general public.

Luke Bryan

Miranda Lambert

Garth Brooks

Jason Aldean

Keith Urban

Blake Shelton

 

Vocal Group of the Year

A group is defined as an act, composed of three (3) or more people, all of whom normally perform together and none of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist.

Now that we know what a “group” is, we know that Little Big Town will win this award with 200 percent of the vote.

Eli Young Band

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

Zac Brown Band

New Artist of the Year

A Country artist, who has for the first time demonstrated the most significant creative growth and development in overall chart or sales activity (of a debut or sophomore album), live performance, professionalism and/or national media recognition related to the launch of their career.

Assuming no one who was nominated last year can be nominated again, Sam Hunt wins every single time. Kelsea Ballerini makes a strong play, but it’s hard to ignore Hunt’s album sales and digital plays.

Sam Hunt

Kelsea Ballerini

Maddie & Tae

Vocal Duo of the Year

A duo is defined as an act composed of two (2) people, both of whom normally perform together and neither of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist.

The key word here is “normally,” right? Obviously, Florida Georgia Line wins.

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

Swon Brothers

Single of the Year

This Award is for individual tracks only. This category will include both digital releases as well as physical release.

This is a tough one and I think a lot of great individual tracks will be left out of contention by the time the final nominees are announced.

Sam Hunt: “Take Your Time”

Little Big Town: “Girl Crush”

Kelsea Ballerini: “Love Me Like You Mean It”

Carrie Underwood: “Something in the Water”

Jason Aldean: “Burnin’ It Down”

Maddie & Tae: “Girl In a Country Song”

Florida Georgia Line: “Dirt”

 

Song of the Year

Any Country Music song with original words and music is eligible based upon the song’s Country singles chart activity during the eligibility period. Award to songwriter(s).

Without any doubt, “Girl Crush” wins this award.

“Girl Crush”

Riser

Something In The Water

“Raise ‘Em Up”

“Talladega”

“American Kids”

 

Musical Event of the Year

An event is defined as a collaboration of two (2) or more people either or all of whom are known primarily as individual artists.

In all likelihood, “Raise ‘Em Up” and Keith Urban and Eric Church win this one, but “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” could make a good case, too. Are there even that many collaborations to choose from? Sorry, event, not collaboration.

Keith Urban and Eric Church: “Raise ‘Em Up”

Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town: “Smokin’ and Drinkin’

Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter: “Wild Child

Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe: “Lonely Tonight”

 

Music Video of the Year Winner

This Award is for an original music video not more than ten (10) minutes in length featuring the performance of not more than one (1) song or medley.

First off, who is out there making music videos that are 10 minutes long? Shame on you. Second, isn’t there a whole other awards show for this? Last year, a hilarious video won. It was up against another hilarious video, two videos with excellent cinematography and one big budget masterpiece. Is that still how the nominees are chosen?  If so, literally any country music video could win this prize.

Sam Hunt: “Take Your Time

Carrie Underwood: “Something In The Water”

Lee Ann Womack: “The Way I’m Livin'”

Florida Georgia Line: “Sun Daze”

Image Source: CMA

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