57th Annual GRAMMY Awards: Country Predictions

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There’s not a bigger honor or award a music artist can win than a GRAMMY Award. The entire process is nominated and voted on by Recording Academy members, all involved in the creative and technical processes of recording music. The entire mission of the Academy is  dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its makers.

It’s no secret that walking away with a GRAMMY Award is the highlight of one’s career. Even being nominated is a highlight for most.

So, what will happen this year in the categories we care about the most?

First, know that Miranda Lambert was nominated for four GRAMMYs and is performing (solo). Eric Church will be performing and is also nominated for four golden trophies. The real treat will come with a collaboration between Best New Arist nominee Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam.

Who will win? Let’s try and figure it out.

Best Country Album

Riser, Dierks Bentley

The Outsiders, Eric Church

The Way I’m Livin’, Lee Ann Womack

12 Stories, Brandy Clark

Platinum, Miranda Lambert

Based on: the entire album, not just the singles released to radio.

Consider: Every single album nominated is in a class all its own. Lambert took home four CMA Awards last fall for Platinum, holding off Bentley and Church in many of the same categories. Clark and Womack’s albums, respectively, are country (and absolutely brilliant) to the core, but boast less radio airplay. Clark was nominated for Best New Artist, an all-genre category, which helps her cause.

Who will win: Has to be Lambert or Church. Could honestly go either way depending who you ask.

Who should win: If we’re basing it on what I have listened to the most over the past 12 months, it’s Bentley’s Riser. But, I’ve been over partially to Riser for a while now. I think country fans should be happy with any of these albums walking away with the prize. They’re all winners.

Best Country Song

“American Kids,” Kenny Chesney

“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert

“Give Me Back My Hometown,” Eric Church

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell

“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” Tim McGraw ft. Faith Hill

Based on: the song. This one goes to the songwriter, not the artist.

Consider: Each of these songs pack an emotional punch, save one, though it does play the nostalgia card.

Who will win: Glen Campbell.

Who should win: Glen Campbell. Campbell wrote the song with longtime friend, Julian Raymond, in the midst of his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s an absolute jolt to very core of every listener’s heart, as it gives devastating insight to what it’s like living with the disease.

 

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Gentle On My Mind,” The Band Perry

“Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood

“Day Drinking,” Little Big Town

“Meanwhile Back At Mama’s,” Tim McGraw ft. Faith Hill

“Raise ‘Em Up,” Keith Urban ft. Eric Church

Based on: totally and completely on the performance by the artist.

Consider: Underwood and Lambert are nominated for solo performances, as well, which would make this one seem like an easy pick. However, “Somethin’ Bad” is very different than the other nominated songs. How much does that matter? Of all the groups in country music that could’ve performed Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind,” The Band Perry seems like an unlikely choice, but they absolutely delivered what could end up being their best ever.

Who will win: Likely– Urban and Church, though the Band Perry could bring it home, too.

Who should win: It’s a toss-up between the emotional choice with the Band Perry and the respect for an incredible collaboration between world renown collaborator, Urban, and the world renown outsider, Church.

 

Best Country Solo Performance

“Give Me Me Back My Hometown,” Eric Church

“Invisible,” Hunter Hayes

“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert

“Something In the Water,” Carrie Underwood

“Cop Car,” Keith Urban

Based on: totally and completely on the artist’s performance of the song.

Consider: It’s hard to ignore Carrie’s straight-up vocal power in this category. Clearly, if it was just a “who sings the prettiest with the most power” category, it’s Carrie’s for the taking. Critics have raved and raved about this song and his album for an entire year.

Who will win: Church, followed closely by a Lambert or Underwood win.

Who should win: Underwood, because this is a singing competition, right?

 

Image Source: PR Photos, CMA