by Aprille Hanson
Entertainer of the Year:
Who Should Win: Garth Brooks
When Garth Brooks announced his comeback “The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood,” the fans rejoiced … and bought tickets. If you’re a Brooks fan, you had to see him after his 14-year break, even if you were lucky enough to see his residence in Las Vegas. His tour is expected to be one of the highest-grossing concert tours ever. It’s already broken records at every arena he’s performed at regarding ticket sales (as of September 2015). If that isn’t an Entertainer of the Year, I don’t know what is.
Prediction: Luke Bryan
I have a bad feeling it’ll be Luke Bryan. Despite Brooks bringing in high ticket sales, Bryan is by far the most popular country artist on the radio right now. Since Brooks has not had the radio play since his comeback, the CMA’s might give it to Bryan.
Female Vocalist of the Year:
Who Should Win: Kacey Musgraves
It’s “high time” that Kacey Musgraves is named Female Vocalist of the Year. She’s developed such a large Americana and traditional country music following, not to mention having her hand in top songs (like Miranda Lambert’s smash hit “Mama’s Broken Heart”) and it’s truly her year after coming off her superb sophomore album Pageant Material.
Prediction: Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert is the first woman to ever win five consecutive CMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards. Lambert is my favorite female artist in the genre today, but it’s time to pass the torch. Musgraves had a better all-around album and as talented as Lambert is, no one should have a monopoly on this honor. However, if history is any indication, she’ll take it again.
Male Vocalist of the Year:
Who Should Win: Eric Church
Eric Church deserves this win more than anyone else in the category. He has been a regular nominee over the last few years, but has never taken home the award. Church’s star-status has been fun for long-time fans of his to watch and it’d be nice to see him be announced as the winner for once.
Prediction: Blake Shelton
Much like his now ex-wife Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton has won Male Vocalist of the year for four years in a row. Church has consistently made better music the last few years, so it’s time for someone else to have a shot.
New Artist of the Year:
Who Should Win: Chris Stapleton
I’ll admit, I’m not terribly familiar with Chris Stapleton’s music. However, the few songs I’ve heard him sing have been amazingly country. It’s a rarity in this day and age to hear true country music and I really think he should win for not only being a new artist, but a new kind of artist, unafraid to sound country.
Prediction: Sam Hunt
Sam Hunt is a pop star being played on country radio. Everyone loves his sound it seems and how different it is, but the reason it’s so different is that it’s an entirely different genre. Sadly, I think his insane popularity will make him win it.
Vocal Group of the Year:
Who Should Win: Little Big Town
Ordinarily, I think Little Big Town is overrated. They’re a good band, but I’ve never seen them as a big award-winner. However, this year’s release of “Girl Crush,” which was an amazing song, makes them deserve the honor more than the others in this category.
Prediction: Little Big Town
They’ll take it home. Personally, I’d like to see Old Crow Medicine Show or Nathanial Rateliff & the Night Sweats win it, but they were not nominated for some reason...
Vocal Duo of the Year:
Who Should Win: Maddie & Tae
Maddie & Tae made a big statement with their smash hit “Girl in a Country Song” and followed up with a powerful song “Fly.” They had the biggest year of any in the category.
Prediction: Florida Georgia Line
I’m sick of seeing them win. It’s like Brooks & Dunn’s reign over the award, but B&D were actually talented country stars. It’s time for FGL to cruise away as just a nominee.
Album of the Year:
Who Should Win: Pageant Material, Kacey Musgraves
Pageant Material was the quintessential story book of small town life, which is everything a country album should be. The award is the most prized honor of the night in my opinion because it’s a celebration of an artist’s work as a whole. Musgraves made pretty much a perfect album and it needs to be rewarded.
Prediction: Pain Killer, Little Big Town
Little Big Town is always an awards-favorite which is why I think they’ll win. I haven’t heard their album, but I don’t see how it could beat Musgraves.
Single of the Year:
Who Should Win: “Talladega,” Eric Church
I debated this, because I do think “Girl Crush” was a very unique and powerful song. In a sea of stock lyrics, I appreciate a twist on what’s common and “Girl Crush” did that. But, so did “Talladega.” For anyone who is a NASCAR fan, the Talladega experience is sacred. Church captures it so well in this song.
Prediction: “Girl Crush,” Little Big Town
I would be OK if “Girl Crush” won because as I explained, it’s certainly unique and good.
Song of the Year:
Who Should Win: “Girl Crush,” Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey
Since Song of the Year is meant to celebrate the songwriters, Rose, McKenna and Lindsey should be recognized for this country gem.
Prediction: “Girl Crush”
I’d be shocked if ‘GC’ didn’t take home the songwriter prize.
Who Should Win: Django and Jimmie, Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard
When Willie and Merle do an album together it is the musical event of the year. You just can’t beat that. Period.
Prediction: “Smokin’ and Drinkin’,” Miranda Lambert featuring Little Big Town
You know how I said you can’t beat that? Well, unfortunately it shouldn’t, but I think “Smokin’ and Drinkin’” will be the winner because the CMAs love Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town.
For complete list of nominees click: HERE
Let us know who you think should win …