As the 50th Annual CMA Awards finally approach, it’s hard not to be extra excited this year. The performances are going to be insane, Carrie Underwood could finally walk away with Female Vocalist of the Year and Dolly Parton will be in the building. This year, Eric Church and Maren Morris lead the way in nominations, but that doesn’t always mean they will walk away with the most hardware.
50th Annual CMA Awards Predictions:
Who will win: Luke Bryan or Carrie Underwood
Who should win: Carrie Underwood
When it comes to the overall game, this has been Underwood’s year– a new album, multiple No. 1 singles and a huge tour. Luke nor Garth released an album this year. So, if we’re looking at an overall body of work, it’s gotta be Carrie.
SINGLE OF THE YEAR:
(Award goes to Artist, Producer(s), and Mix Engineer(s))
“Die a Happy Man” // Thomas Rhett
“Humble and Kind” // Tim McGraw
“My Church” // Maren Morris
“Nobody To Blame” // Chris Stapleton
“Record Year” // Eric Church
Who will win: “Die a Happy Man” // Thomas Rhett
Who should win: “Humble and Kind” // Tim McGraw
Rhett’s “Die A Happy Man” dominated the charts this year, but so did cries of unoriginality. McGraw’s delivery of “Humble and Kind” was beyond perfect.
This has to be Church’s year. I expect Storyteller to make a strong run, but it will likely come up short.
SONG OF THE YEAR:
“Burning House” (Camaron “Cam” Ochs, Tyler Johnson, Jeff Bhasker)
“Die a Happy Man” (Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett, and Joe Spargur)
“Humble and Kind” (Lori McKenna)
“My Church” (busbee and Maren Morris)
“Record Year” (Eric Church and Jeff Hyde)
Who will win: “Humble and Kind” (Lori McKenna)
Who should win: “Humble and Kind” (Lori McKenna)
McKenna’s “Humble and Kind” should win this year and the next 50 years. What a song, what a songwriter.
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Who will win: Carrie Underwood
Who should win: Carrie Underwood
I love Miranda Lambert as much as anyone, but the award is “based on individual musical performance on a solo Country single or album release.” Lambert hasn’t released anything. If Underwood doesn’t win Female Vocalist this year of all years, she will never win. (To note: Carrie hasn’t won a single CMA Award since 2008. That is just insane.)
Who will win: Chris Stapleton
Who should win: Chris Stapleton
This award is probably Stapleton’s for the next few years, but Urban or McGraw could make a run at this year too. Of course, Church and Bentley have had massive years this year, too. Don’t be shocked if any of the nominees walk away with this one.
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band
Who will win: Little Big Town
Who should win: Little Big Town
Because of Old Dominion’s success on the charts, there’s a small (small) chance they could win, but not likely.
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR:
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Joey + Rory
Maddie & Tae
Who will win: Florida Georgia Line
Who should win: Florida Georgia Line or Brothers Osborne.
I think the boys of FGL have this award in the bag for another year, but look out for the Brothers Osborne to make a strong run. They are beloved in Nashville and do have a GRAMMY nomination.
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR:
“Different For Girls” // Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King
“Home Alone Tonight” // Luke Bryan featuring Karen Fairchild
“The Fighter” // Keith Urban (featuring Carrie Underwood)
“Think of You” Chris Young (duet with Cassadee Pope)
“You Are My Sunshine” // Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton
Who will win: “You Are My Sunshine” // Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton
Who should win: “You Are My Sunshine” // Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton
This is a pretty low-bar year for musical events. Surely, Morgane Stapleton and husband Chris will get to take this one home together, but if Keith Urban is nominated it’s probably his to lose. On a personal level, I prefer Dierks Bentley and Elle King.
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
“Burning House” // Cam // Directed by Trey Fanjoy
“Fire Away” // Chris Stapleton // Directed by Tim Mattia
“Humble and Kind” // Tim McGraw // Directed by Wes Edwards
“Record Year” // Eric Church // Directed by John Peets and Reid Long
“Somewhere On A Beach” // Dierks Bentley // Directed by Wes Edwards
Who will win: Record Year” // Eric Church // Directed by John Peets and Reid Long
Who should win: “Burning House” // Cam // Directed by Trey Fanjoy
If Cam and “Burning House” walk away from another awards show without a win just because Chris Stapleton and Eric Church are nominated, I’ll be pretty upset. Cam and Trey Fanjoy literally set a house on fire for this video. It has to win.
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Who will win: Maren Morris or Kelsea Ballerini
Who should win: Maren Morris or Kelsea Ballerini
A year ago, Kelsea Ballerini had this award already wrapped up. Six months ago it was Ballerini or Cam. Now, Cam isn’t even nominated and Ballerini up against the most nominated female of the evening– Maren Morris. This one could go either way.