48th Annual CMA Awards Predictions

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Gearing up for the CMA Awards feels a little like Christmas and a little like studying for a test. You know what you know, you know what you want and in a lot of cases, you probably know what’s going to happen. And with Miranda Lambert nominated for nine awards, it seems kind of certain that she will walk away with at least five or even all nine.

Do we go based on commercial success? Critical acclaim? My favorite song of the year?

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

Album of the Year

Luke Bryan: Crash My Party

Keith Urban: Fuse

Miranda Lambert: Platinum

Dierks Bentley: Riser

Eric Church: The Outsiders

Who will win: Odds are on Miranda Lambert and Platinum. It boasts the critical and commercial acclaim. Luke Bryan could pull off the upset, but it’s doubtful.

Who should win: No knocks on Miranda, but if you’re looking at just a catalog of songs on an album, Dierks Bentley’s Riser should runaway with this one. It was sentimental, inspiring, sultry and a whole lot of fun.

Female Vocalist of the Year

Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood

Martina McBride

Who will win: This one might be Miranda‘s to lose. But, Kacey Musgraves could sneak her way in.

Who should win: My heart wants this one for Kacey. She’s had a big year, toured with Katy Perry and Willie Nelson, and is currently headlining her own tour. She’s done a lot for country music.

You never know: If Taylor Swift is in a category, she always has a shot.

Male Vocalist of the Year

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Luke Bryan

Blake Shelton

Keith Urban

Who will win: Flip a coin between Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. Odds are a little more favorable for Blake though.

Who should win: 2014 has been quite the year for Dierks Bentley. He deserves it if anyone does.

Entertainer of the Year:

Luke Bryan

Miranda Lambert

Blake Shelton

George Strait (83rd nomination)

Keith Urban

Who will win: King George could easily walk away with this one.

Who should win: Miranda.

Vocal Group of the Year:

Eli Young Band

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

The Band Perry

Zac Brown Band

Who will win: Who knows!

Who should win: Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town, with a really strong lean towards Little Big Town. There’s not a hotter name in the game right now.

New Artist of the Year:

Brandy Clark

Brett Eldredge

Kip Moore

Thomas Rhett

Cole Swindell

Who will win: Critical acclaim or commercial success? Odds are in Brandy Clark’s favor, but Thomas Rhett makes a really strong case.

Who should win: Brandy Clark. Even if she doesn’t win, her future is really bright.

Vocal Duo of the Year:

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Love and Theft

The Swon Brothers

Thompson Square

Who will win: Definitely Florida Georgia Line’s award to lose.

Who should win: The Swon Brothers have had a big year, could be fun to see the Brothers pull this one out.

Single of the Year (Award goes to artist and producer):

“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert

“Drunk on a Plane,” Dierks Bentley

“Give Me Back My Hometown,” Eric Church

Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill

“Mine Would Be You,” Blake Shelton

Who will win: Automatic,” is the likely winner here.

Who should win: Lyrically, “Give Me Back My Hometown,” for the most casual reference to Pizza Hut in a song ever.

Song of the Year (Award goes to songwriters):

“Automatic,” written by Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby and Miranda Lambert

“Follow Your Arrow,” written by Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally

“Give Me Back My Hometown,” written by Eric Church and Luke Laird

I Don’t Dance,” written by Lee Brice, Rob Hatch, and Dallas Davidson

“I Hold On,” written by Brett James and Dierks Bentley

Who will win: “Follow Your Arrow,” is the favorite. If there are favorites.

Who should win: “Follow Your Arrow,” simply for delivering a message to country music that isn’t part of the norm.

Musical Event of the Year:

“Bakersfield,” Vince Gill and Paul Franklin

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

Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood

“We Were Us,” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert

You Can’t Make Old Friends,” Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Who will win: Somethin’ Bad” for so many reasons.

Who should win: “Somethin’ Bad,” because in this category– girls rule!

You never know: “Bakersfield” is absolutely incredible. It needs its own award.

Music Video of the Year:

“Automatic,” Miranda Lambert

Bartender,” Lady Antebellum

Drunk on a Plane,” Dierks Bentley

Follow Your Arrow,” Kacey Musgraves

“Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood

Who will win: “Follow Your Arrow” or “Somethin’ Bad.”

Who should win: “Follow Your Arrow,” is beautiful and funny and features a mini pony on a leash.

You never know: This is a category that features a mini movie starring Carrie and Miranda, an all-too-true account of flying featuring Dierks Bentley and a video with Kate Upton. There’s really no telling.

Image Source: CMA