49th Annual CMA Awards Predictions

49th Annual CMA Awards Predictions

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Gearing up for the CMA Awards is a lot like preparing for one’s birthday. You know the drill, but you also know there could be some surprises. This year, Eric Church and Little Big Town lead the way in nominations, but more nominations doesn’t always mean more awards.

Here’s my best shot at predicting this year’s winners, but maybe also who should win and who definitely will not win.

49th Annual CMA Awards Predictions:

Entertainer of the Year: 

Luke Bryan

Miranda Lambert

Eric Church

Garth Brooks

Kenny Chesney

Who will win: Luke Bryan or Garth Brooks

Who should win:  Garth Brooks

No one else in the world could walk away from the game for 14 years and come back the way Brooks has. He’s sold an inordinate amount of tickets, adds on multiple dates to every city he visits and has revived the industry with his attitude.

Album of the Year:

Jason Aldean: Old Boots, New Dirt

Kacey Musgraves: Pageant Material

Little Big Town: Pain Killer

Kenny Chesney: The Big Revival

Chris Stapleton: Traveller

Who will win: Kacey Musgraves’ Pageant Material

Who should win:  Little Big Town’s Pain Killer

The day Little Big Town’s album came out a full year ago, I said it was the album to beat. I still think it is, but I also think Musgraves is going to walk away with the award.


Female Vocalist of the Year: 

Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves

Lee Ann Womack

Carrie Underwood

Kelsea Ballerini

Who will win: Miranda Lambert

Who should win:  Kacey Musgraves or Carrie Underwood

I’m not saying Lambert doesn’t deserve to walk away with the honor for the sixth straight year, I’m saying Underwood’s GRAMMY for “Something In The Water” and her performance of that track is enough to give it to her in my book. Also, Musgraves is scary good at what she does and she does it all without an ounce of support from radio play.

Male Vocalist of the Year: 

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Luke Bryan

Blake Shelton

Chris Stapleton

Who will win: Blake Shelton or Luke Bryan

Who should win:  Chris Stapleton

The award actually says “vocalist” on it and there’s not a person in Nashville that can sing with Chris Stapleton. But, it’s hard to ignore No. 1 hits and album sales.


Best New Artist of the Year:

Sam Hunt

Kelsea Ballerini

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Maddie & Tae

Who will win: Chris Stapleton or Sam Hunt

Who should win:  Chris Stapleton or Sam Hunt

This category is stacked this year and the CMA should be happy if any of these artists walk away the winner this year. If we’re going off of who’s expanded the country music fan base more in the last year, it’s Sam Hunt. If we’re going off of who’s delighted the already massive country music fan base more this year, it’s Chris Stapleton.

Honestly, wouldn’t be a total shocker if Kelsea Ballerini or Maddie & Tae walked away a winner either.

Single of the Year:

Kenny Chesney, “American Kids”

Sam Hunt, “Take Your Time”

Eric Church, “Talladega”

Little Big Town, “Girl Crush”

Lee Brice, “I Don’t Dance”

Who will win: “Girl Crush”

Who should win: “Girl Crush”

This is one of those years where somebody like Eric Church releases some great, great tunes and he thinks he could win something– but, then everyone heard “Girl Crush.”

Song of the Year:

“Like a Wrecking Ball”

“Take Your Time”

“American Kids”

“Girl Crush”

“Like a Cowboy”

Who will win: “Girl Crush”

Who should win: “Girl Crush”

There are whispers of an “American Kids” win looming on the horizon, but I just don’t see it happening.

Vocal Group of the Year:

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

Rascal Flatts

The Band Perry

Zac Brown Band

Who will win: Little Big Town

Who should win: Little Big Town

I’m not sure why two of these groups are even in this category.

Vocal Duo of the Year:

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Maddie & Tae

Thompson Square

Who will win: Florida Georgia Line

Who should win: Maddie & Tae

I think a lot of diehard country music fans don’t realize how hard it is to write a catchy hook. Florida Georgia Line is a talented duo with a lot of catchy hooks. In all likelihood they will walk away a three-time winner, but without a doubt Maddie & Tae have done more than enough this year to win this award. But, the best thing about Maddie & Tae? They’re just getting started.

Musical Event of the Year:

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “Djanjo and Jimmie”

Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe, “Lonely Tonight”

Keith Urban featuring Eric Church, “Raise ‘Em Up”

Miranda Lambert featuring Little Big Town, “Smokin’ and Drinkin’”

Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter, “Wild Child”

Who will win: “Raise ‘Em Up,” Keith Urban featuring Eric Church

Who should win: “Smokin’ and Drinkin’,” Miranda Lambert featuring Little Big Town or “Raise ‘Em Up,” Keith Urban featuring Eric Church

“Raise ‘Em Up” is an exceptional song performed by two exceptional superstars, but I still can’t believe “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” barely charted. Both deserve the award in a year that really lacked “musical events.”

Music Video of the Year

“Biscuits,” Kacey Musgraves

“Girl Crush,” Little Big Town

“Girl In a Country Song,” Maddie & Tae

“Little Red Wagon,” Miranda Lambert

“Something In The Water,” Carrie Underwood

Who will win: “Something In The Water,” Carrie Underwood

Who should win: “Something In The Water,” Carrie Underwood

I’m not sure there’s a category harder to pick a winner in. Three videos are hilarious, well-done videos. One is so simple it’s brilliant and one almost belongs in a museum. Underwood deserves something for her work on “Something In The Water” and a music video award will work for me.

Image Source: CMA

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