Academy of Country Music Awards

So have you voted? I have. And you should, because its rare to get fan voted award shows these days. It’s a truer representation of the country music audience. Now you can only vote for Entertainer of the year and New Artist of the year, but those are pretty much the two most important awards of the night.

Alongside the awards, there are some great artists scheduled to play. I’m currently most looking forward to George Strait and Garth Brooks collaboration. But there are many others, including Jason Aldean, who I hope brings Joe Diffie on stage. I love Joe Diffie. And there’s more from Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Pistol Annies and even Stevie Wonder. Unfortunately the ACM awards aren’t broadcast in England, so I’ll be relying on YouTube for performances.

So, here are the nominees for tonights award show, along with my own predictions, and who I actually want to win.

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Blake Shelton
Taylor Swift

I’d love to see Miranda Lambert take this award. She’s an incredible performer, and my two most played albums last year were Four the Record and The Pistol Annies. Honestly, I think one of the boys will take it. I think people who have been voting, That is, country music fans, won’t deem swift ‘country’ enough, I may be wrong, just a feeling. All three of the men nominated have had pretty amazing years. If I had to choose, my money would be on Jason Aldean.

Male Vocalist of the Year

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Toby Keith
Blake Shelton

This is a hard category. I’ve watched Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Blake Shelton rise up over the years, and become at the forefront of this new wave of country superstars. Toby Keith is has a longer track record than the others in this category, but the others in the category Put up a good fight. I’d like to see Blake Shelton win, and he might, but this award is anyone’s win.

Female Vocalist of the Year

Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Kacey Musgraves
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

This is a much weaker category than the boys. I hope Miranda Lambert wins this one, but I think the only other viable contenders are Underwood and Swift. Both Martina McBride and Kasey Musgraves are great, but I think Musgraves is too much of a newcomer to win this award (not that she doesn’t deserve it), and McBride hasn’t had as much of a stand out year compared to the others. I think Carrie will take this one.

Vocal Duo of the Year

Big & Rich
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

This is a strange category. I think Thompson Square will win, and I don’t think there’s too much competition. Sugarland have pretty much been on maternity leave, Big and Rich haven’t released anything truly notable, and Love and Theft and Florida Georgia line, just haven’t been as round for as long. FGL already won new group/duo of the year.

Vocal Group of the Year

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

Little Big Town should win this. It really has been their year, two number one singles and an number one album. No others in this category can top that. Need I say more?

New Male Vocalist of the Year

Lee Brice
Brantley Gilbert*
Hunter Hayes

New Female Vocalist of the Year

Jana Kramer*
Kacey Musgraves
Sunny Sweeney

New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year

Florida Georgia Line*
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl’s Department Stores (Winners of New Male, New Female & New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year)

Florida Georgia Line
Brantley Gilbert
Jana Kramer

So these guys have already won. I can see why they did, even if they weren’t my favourite artist in the category. With award shows like these, it’s not just about the talent of the artist, if they weren’t talented, they wouldn’t be nominated, but also how successful they have been within country music.

Album of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company)

Blown Away – Carrie Underwood (19/Arista Nashville)
Produced by: Mark Bright
Chief – Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Red – Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records)
Produced by: Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker, Dan Wilson
Tailgates & Tanlines – Luke Bryan (Capitol Nashville)
Produced by: Mark Bright, Jeff Stevens
Tornado – Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce

These albums all made an impact this year. I wouldn’t like to bet on it, but if I had to pick my favourite? Tailgates and Tanlines – Luke Bryan.

Single Record of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company)

Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville)
Produced by: Mike Wrucke
Over You – Miranda Lambert (RCA)
Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf
Pontoon – Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Springsteen – Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Wanted – Hunter Hayes (Atlantic/WMN)
Produced by: Hunter Hayes, Dann Huff

I would love to see Miranda Lambert take this award. However, all of these were great songs and performed well in the charts, so who knows.

Song of the Year (Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s))

A Woman Like You – Lee Brice
Composers: Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, Jon Stone
Publishers: 3JB Music (BMI), Adios Pantalones (SESAC), Hears That Skyline Music (SESAC), Sixteen Stars Music (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band
Composers: Will Hoge, Eric Paslay
Publishers: Cal IV Songs (ASCAP), Will Hoge Music (BMI)
Over You – Miranda Lambert
Composers: Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton
Publishers: Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Sony ATV/Tree Publishing (BMI)
Springsteen – Eric Church
Composers: Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell
Publishers: Bug Music (BMI), ole Purple Cape Music (BMI), Sinnerlina (BMI), Sony ATV/Tree Publishing (BMI)
Wanted – Hunter Hayes
Composers: Hunter Hayes, Troy Verges
Publishers: Happy Little Man Publishing (BMI), Songs From The Engine Room (BMI), Songs Of Universal Inc. (BMI)

I’d like either Springsteen or Over to You to win this. This is a songwriters award, and looking at songwriting as a craft, I think these are the two best examples on this list.

Songwriter of the Year *(Off Camera Award)

Rodney Clawson
Dallas Davidson
Josh Kear
Luke Laird
Shane McAnally

This is the one off camera award that I want to talk about. I love all of these songwriters and have had the pleasure of knowing several of these nominees, and I would be delighted for whoever took the trophy. Tomorrow night, I think that it will be Josh Kear. Josh became an in demand songwriter after penning Lady Antebellum’s smash hit Need You Now, and have since written loads and loads of mainstream country music hits. Including Blown Away, Two Black Cadillacs, Highway Don’t Care, Drunk on You and Many more.

So what are you most looking forward to this evening? The awards? The performance? Who do you want to win?

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