2014 CMA Awards Predictions

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brad-carrie-48-cma-awards-hosts2Country Music’s Biggest Night has finally arrived!! The 48th Annual CMA Awards will be held tonight LIVE from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will host the night for the 7th year in a row that will feature performances from country’s biggest stars. In between those performances there will be a few awards handed out to recognize the best in country music this past year. Here’s a look at whom I think should win and whom I believe will win.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Blake Shelton
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

Should Win: George Strait – after a surprise victory last year, the King of Country music deserves to repeat this year. After a sold out tour that featured some of the biggest names in country music as opening acts and a record shattering final show in front of nearly 105,000 people, no one performed in front of more people than George Strait this year.

Will Win: Luke Bryan – Luke, in my opinion, deserved to win last year. This year will most likely be his year after continuing his momentum with chart-topping singles. In addition, his My Kinda Night tour has played in front of sold out arenas, and for the first time, sold out stadiums. No one has captivated the country audience more than Luke this year.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Should Win: Kacey Musgraves – no other female artist has made an impact as big as Kacey Musgraves this year. Miranda and Carrie have had immense success this year, but they haven’t challenged the genre as much as Kacey has. With incredible songwriting and boundary-pushing material, this Texas native is the pioneer country music so desperately needed.

Will Win: Miranda Lambert – with more chart-topping singles, a successful album, and another great headlining tour, there’s no way Miranda won’t become the new queen of the Female Vocalist award. With a win, she’ll break the record held by Martina McBride and Reba McEntire for the most wins in this category with five.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Blake Shelton
  • Keith Urban

Should win: Dierks Bentley – when it comes to having a career year, no one has done better than Dierks. With two smash singles (one nominated for Song of the Year and one nominated for Single of the Year) and a stellar album, Dierks has reached a new pinnacle in his career. This is his best chance at winning this award and deserves to win.

Will Win: Luke Bryan – Blake has had a strong hold on this award for the past few years, but that streak should end this year. Luke Bryan has had more chart topping hits, and a better selling album in Crash My Party than Shelton has had this year. This will be Luke’s night to break through into the next stratosphere of the genre.

Album of the Year

  • Crash My Party – Luke Bryan
  • Fuse – Keith Urban
  • Platinum – Miranda Lambert
  • Riser – Dierks Bentley
  • The Outsiders – Eric Church

Should Win: The Outsiders – Eric Church – no other album has pushed the boundaries of country music like this one. With unique lyrics, melodies, and modern outlaw sounds, this album represents the movement of country music. The fact that this album is the best selling country album of the year doesn’t hurt it’s chances at winning.

Will Win: Platinum – Miranda Lambert – the CMA has had a love affair with the blonde bombshell. She’s won this award before and will most likely win it again with this album. Though not her best, this album has spawned more radio hits this year and offers a different look into the life of this tough beauty.

New Artist of the Year

  • Brandy Clark
  • Brett Eldredge
  • Kip Moore
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Cole Swindell

Should Win: Brandy Clark – The year’s most stellar album was an album hardly anyone heard. Clark’s 12 Stories is a remarkable set of songs that embodies everything that country music is. With unique and eye opening songwriting paired with her vintage sounding voice, Brandy Clark is in a class of her own.

Will Win: Cole Swindell – this is just a guess because three of the nominees have number one hits, but Swindell’s debut album is the best selling album from each of the nominees. He is the only one to have a single sell over one million copies (Chillin’ It) and has two number one singles. Based on the numbers, it’ll be Swindell’s award to lose.

Single of the Year

  • “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

Should Win: “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” – this is a stellar single that brought together country’s first couple. This song peaked inside the top 5 on the country charts and has sold modestly. This is my favorite single from the pack of nominees.

Will Win: “Drunk on a Plane” – this is the best selling single from the list and was a smash hit on both Billboard country charts. This is Dierks’ best year to win with a single that took over the country genre this year.

Song of the Year

  • “Automatic” written by Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby, and Miranda Lambert
  • “Follow Your Arrow” written by Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, 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

Should Win: “Follow Your Arrow” – past winners of this award include songs that have changed the face of country music including He Stopped Loving Her Today and Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning. On this list of songs there is only one that has challenge country music’s values and traditions. “Follow Your Arrow” is without a doubt the best country song to come out of Nashville in years. Never before has there been a gay friendly country song and this single has allowed for the progression of not only the sound of country music but also the ideals of country music. Kudos to the three brilliant writers for writing an incredibly song.

Will Win: “I Hold On” – this song has an emotional appeal that nearly every country fan could relate to. In addition, it’s the only song written from the writer’s point of view as this acts like an autobiography of the rise of Dierks Bentley’s career. CMA voters love them a sentimental song so look for them to award this song for being just that.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Love and Theft
  • The Swon Brothers
  • Thompson Square

Should Win: anyone but Florida Georgia Line because they aren’t country and are part of the reason why country music has become a bit of joke with their help in progressing the god awful “bro-country” movement.

Will Win: Florida Georgia Line…next!

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

Should Win: Little Big Town – they’ve won the past two years in a row and should win a third. They’ve taken huge risks in releasing their two best songs to radio (“Your Side of the Bed” and “Sober”) and have taken their sound and career to a whole new level with their latest album Painkiller.

Will Win: Lady Antebellum – they’ve returned to their form with their single Bartender and have won back the fans and country industry after losing them a bit with their previous album. With LBT faltering a bit on the charts, look to Lady A to regain their crown.

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 duet with Carrie Underwood

Should Win: “Bartender” – the group once again enlisted in the help of Hollywood heavyweights to bring this single to life.

Will Win: “Drunk on a Plane” – this video is without a doubt the best one of the pact and the funniest.

Musical Event of the Year

  • “Bakersfield” – Vince Gill and Paul Franklin
  • “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” – Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
  • “Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert duet with Carrie Underwood
  • “We Were Us” – Keith Urban featuring Miranda Lambert
  • “You Can’t Make Old Friends” – Kenny Rogers duet with Dolly Parton

Should Win: “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”

Will Win: “Meanwhle Back at Mama’s”

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