The Country Music Association just announced this year’s CMA award show nominees and it’s a star-studded lineup. There are 12 awards to hand out and I’ve picked seven of them to predict the winners for.
Album of the Year
Nominees: 29 by Carly Pearce, Dangerous: The Double Album by Morgan Wallen, Heart by Eric Church, Skeletons by Brothers Osborne, and Starting Over by Chris Stapleton
While Morgan Wallen’s album is probably the most popular on the list, the backlash he’s faced this year has been strong and radio stations are just starting to play his music again for the first time in four months. Chris Stapleton had a great album, and I think he’ll take this one home.
Song of the Year
Nominees: “Forever After All” by Luke Combs, “The Good Ones” by Gabby Barrett, “Hell of a View” by Eric Church, “One Night Standards” by Ashley McBryde, “Starting Over” by Chris Stapleton
This category could really go to anyone, but “Forever After All” is a strong contender. I’m thinking Eric Church will take home a CMA for Single of the Year with “Hell of a View” though.
Female Vocalist of the Year
Nominees: Gabby Barrett, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce
This is a tough one to predict, but Miranda Lambert has been really busy for the past year making new music and holding events. (Her music event with Elle King is nominated for a CMA, too.) I would say she’s taking this one home. Her album The Marfa Tapes came out in May, and she also took home country album of the year for Wildcard at the 2020 Grammys.
Male Vocalist of the Year
Nominees: Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton
I like all of these guys, but I’d say with confidence Luke Combs is taking this home. Combs usually does very well at award shows and he snagged Male Vocalist of the Year at last year’s CMAs. His latest releases are all hits and “Forever After All” always seems to come on my radio when I’m in the car.
Vocal Group of the Year
Nominees: Lady A, Little Big Town, Midland, Old Dominion, Zac Brown Band
Old Dominion also seems to do really well at award shows, so I want to say they’ll take the CMA. Lady A could easily snag Vocal Group of the Year though, especially given the popularity of “Like a Lady” recently.
Music Video of the Year
Nominees: “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris, “Famous Friends” by Chris Young with Kane Brown, “Gone” by Dierks Bentley, “Half of My Hometown” by Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney), and “Younger Me” by Brothers Osborne
I’ve seen all these videos and my money is on Kelsea Ballerini to take video of the year. The storytelling of the video is unlike the others in the category and it’s a great video all around.
New Artist of the Year
Nominees: Jimmie Allen, Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Mickey Guyton, Hardy
This is a tough category, and for starters, I’m not sure why Jimmie Allen is in it. He’s great, don’t get me wrong, but his debut album dropped in 2018 so he’s not exactly a new artist. While Indrid Andress is my favorite artist in this category, Gabby Barrett is great and I think she’ll take the award since “I Hope” and “The Good Ones” blew up so much this past year.
The CMAs air on Nov. 10 so it’ll be a little while until we find out who takes the awards home, but until then, you can catch me listening to the Lady Like album on repeat!