Nominees: Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert
Prefer to win: Miranda Lambert deserves it. She won't win it, but in the past year, she released an incredible album, many successful singles, and went on an amazing tour. And she just finished up a tour promoting all female artists, something no other big artist has done. She has been such a role model and so successful, so she deserves it.
Expect to win: Garth Brooks. The award shows love the older acts, the ones who have been around a while, so Brooks has this one in the bag.
Nominees: Kelsea Ballerini, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack
Prefer: Carrie Underwood. She has not won this award since 2008, and although Lambert is amazing, it's time for her to be dethroned. Underwood no doubt has the best, most powerful vocals of any woman in country music, so it makes sense that she would receive this award. And plus, she's had an amazing year, with a Greatest Hits Album, 2 No. 1's, one heading there, and a new album.
Expect: Miranda Lambert. Who's to say that the CMA's won't continue their streak? But Lambert hasn't done as much this year as she has in previous years, so it could still be up in the air.
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Nominees: Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie & Tae, Sam Hunt, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett
Prefer: Maddie & Tae or Chris Stapleton. The girls first because amazing women in country music getting recognition is the first step to getting a more even playing field on the radio, but Stapleton's record was incredible.
Expect: Sam Hunt or Stapleton. As much as I hate to admit, Sam Hunt is a superstar. Country radio and 'country' fans do not seem to be able to realize that he is not a country music artist, but he has done incredibly well this year exploiting a genre, so maybe he should be given some recognition for that. But, no one has anything bad to say about Stapleton, so maybe it will swing in his favor.
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR:
Nominees: Dan + Shay, Maddie & Tae, Florida Georgia Line, Brothers Osborne, Thompson Square
Prefer: Maddie & Tae for sure. They have done so much this year, and released an album of excellent quality contemporary country music. They've also led the way for new women in country music to start getting radio airplay again.
Expect: Florida Georgia Line. However much FGL sucks, they have been the most successful of all of these duos.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Nominees: Old Boots, New Dirt — Jason Aldean, Pageant Material — Kacey Musgraves, Pain Killer — Little Big Town, The Big Revival — Kenny Chesney, Traveller — Chris Stapleton
Prefer: Pageant Material. Musgraves released an incredible album full of traditional-leaning country songs, one that rivaled the quality of her highly acclaimed debut. That deserves some recognition.
Expect: Traveller. Stapleton deserves it as well. His album is amazing.
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
Nominees: Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard's “Djanjo and Jimmie”, Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe's “Lonely Tonight”, Keith Urban & Eric Church, “Raise ‘Em Up”, Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town's “Smokin’ and Drinkin’”, Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter's “Wild Child”
Prefer: Shelton and Monroe's "Lonely Tonight." Anything to get Monroe more exposure is good. This song, on top of that, was one of the best No. 1's this year, and one of the best song Shelton's ever released.
Expect: Nelson and Haggard. Again, CMA favors the oldies, always.
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Nominees: “Biscuits" — Kacey Musgraves, “Girl Crush” — Little Big Town, “Girl In a Country Song” — Maddie & Tae, “Little Red Wagon" — Miranda Lambert, “Something In The Water" — Carrie Underwood
Prefer: "Something in the Water." The video for this is just beautiful, and the song is amazing as well. "Girl in a Country Song" is cute, and a bold statement of course, but Underwood's video has a little bit of an edge.
Expect: "Something in the Water." The CMA's can't shut Underwood out forever can they?
The CMA Awards air tomorrow, November 4 at 8/7 CT on ABC.