The CMA Single and Song of the Year categories have honored some fantastic songs throughout the awards show’s 44 year history. Last year Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” took home Single of the Year honors while Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” was named Song of the Year. This year has seen plenty of well written songs and massively successful singles. Here are the five songs we think will secure nominations in these two categories.
“If I Die Young” – The Band Perry (Single of the Year, Song of the Year)
If you had to pick one single that defined the past year, it probably has to be this massive crossover hit from The Band Perry. “If I Die Young” became the group’s first number one single and has been certified double platinum for over two million downloads. The beautifully crafted lyrics helped songwriter Kimberly Perry receive her first Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. If it secures a nomination, I’m considering this song the front runner for Single of the Year honors and it could very well be crowned Song of the Year.
“A Little Bit Stronger” – Sara Evans (Single of the Year, Song of the Year)
This year there have only been two solo female artists to send songs to number one. Sara Evans’ comeback hit “A Little Bit Stronger” is not only one of those songs (Miranda Lambert’s “Heart Like Mine” is the other) but it is the only song by a female artist to spend more than one week atop the singles chart. The single has become Sara’s first platinum selling single of her career and helped her latest album, Stronger, debut at number one on the country albums chart in March. This is one of Sara’s finest singles and it could pose a threat to The Band Perry’s single.
“As She’s Walking Away” – Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson (Single of the Year, Song of the Year)
This year could possibly be the Zac Brown Band’s year to shine at the CMA awards. After winning New Artist of the Year last year, the group could find themselves as this year’s leading nominee. For sure they’ll secure nominations in both these categories for any of their singles, but I think it’ll be “As She’s Walking Away” that will nab the nods. The fantastic collaboration became the group’s fifth number one single and earned the group their second Grammy. Had The Band Perry and Sara Evans not had stronger success on the charts, this song would be a lock to claim both awards.
“Tomorrow” – Chris Young (Single of the Year, Song of the Year)
This year’s Single and Song categories could shape up to be the five nomination artists’ career-defining singles. That criteria alone is a reason why I think Chris Young’s number one smash has a chance of securing one of the five slots in both categories. The single was Young’s fastest rising single and has been certified gold for more than 500,000 downloads. The song is one of the most well-written songs of the past year and Young’s delivery could be one of the best we’ve seen in country music this year. The song, should it land a nomination, will be an underdog, but it has the potential to be a spoiler.
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” – Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson (Single of the Year)
Just like every other song I’m predicting to land in these categories, “Don’t You Wanna Stay” could probably be considered Jason Aldean’s career-defining smash hit. The fantastic collaboration with Kelly Clarkson has helped Aldean reach the ranks of a country superstar. The platinum selling single became the singer’s fifth number one smash single and his fourth single to receive the platinum certification.
“Back to December” – Taylor Swift (Song of the Year)
Out of all the singles Taylor Swift has released in her career, “Back to December” could possibly be the most well written of the bunch. The breakup song has one of the most beautiful melodic structures country radio has seen this year and the lyrics are some of the most emotional to come from Swift as a songwriter.