This year is going to be called the “Year of Miranda” as Miranda Lambert leads the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs) list of nominees with 8. She’s won Female Vocalist virtually every time she’s been nominated and this year she’s the lone female artist in the Entertainer of the Year category. She’s also won the Album of the Year category every time she’s been nominated for it so expect that trend to continue this year.
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
- Jason Aldean
- Garth Brooks
- Luke Bryan
- Miranda Lambert
- Florida Georgia Line
Each star here has compelling case, but we’ve gotta think that as awesome as it would be for Garth Brooks to win this award, his fans may not be the most internet savvy so that’ll leave previous winner Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, FGL and Miranda Lambert as better chances to win. The fan component makes it harder to predict but considering ACM members still DO vote here, we think Miranda takes home this award.
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR [TIE]
- Jason Aldean
- Dierks Bentley
- Luke Bryan
- Eric Church
- Brad Paisley
- Blake Shelton
If you’re going to vote on the strength of artist impact in 2014/2015 alone, It’d be hard to beat Shelton, who has had every single hit #1 during this time but so has Bryan and Dierks Bentley stands a chance to do that too. The artist with the biggest-selling single of the “era?” Jason Aldean. So what I mean to say here is that it’s stacked. Many industry insiders would LOVE For Dierks to take this home but I’m gonna say that it stays in the hands of Blake Shelton at least one more year.
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- Brandy Clark
- Miranda Lambert
- Martina McBride
- Kacey Musgraves
- Carrie Underwood
Let’s be honest here. There’s no way the ACM doesn’t give this award to Miranda. She had the best-selling album of the bunch, is nominated for Entertainer and, well, she’s Miranda, ACM Fav. Her high-profile marriage to Blake won’t hurt and while I think eventually Kasey and/or Brandy will win this award over Miranda, 2015 is not that year.
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
- Brothers Osborne
- Dan + Shay
- Florida Georgia Line
- Maddie & Tae
- The Swon Brothers
Unless the ACM wanted to make a statement and pick Madde & Tae, this one will definitely go to their BMLG brethren Florida Georgia Line.
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
- Lady Antebellum
- Little Big Town
- Rascal Flatts
- The Band Perry
- Zac Brown Band
The only band in this category to not win it previously is, oddly enough, the Zac Brown Band. They’ve had a steady year and could be a major player with team BMLG behind them this year (BMLG helped The Band Perry take the award last year) but Little Big Town has had an equally good year. I’m happy if either one wins here but I’m gonna say that Zac Brown Band takes home the award.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
- Old Boots, New Dirt – Jason Aldean/Producer: Michael Knox/Record Label: Broken Bow Records
- Pain Killer – Little Big Town/Producer: Jay Joyce/Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
- Platinum – Miranda Lambert/Producers: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf/Record Label: RCA Nashville
- Riser – Dierks Bentley/Producers: Ross Copperman, Jaren Johnston/Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
- The Outsiders – Eric Church/Producer: Jay Joyce/Record Label: EMI Records Nashville
We said it before, we’ll say it again: Miranda Lambert has yet to lose in this category when nominated. While EVERY album here is a strong contender, Miranda will not lose this award. It’s just not gonna happen, especially given how many nominations she has here.
SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
- American Kids – Kenny Chesney/Producers: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney/Record Label: Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville
- Automatic – Miranda Lambert/Producers: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf/Record Label: RCA Nashville
- Dirt – Florida Georgia Line/Producer: Joey Moi/Record Label: Republic Nashville
- Drunk On A Plane – Dierks Bentley/Producer: Ross Copperman/Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
- I Don't Dance – Lee Brice/Producer: Lee Brice/Record Label: Curb Records
This category goes to the artist, producer and record labels and it would be a GREAT place to give Dierks Bentley or Kenny Chesney awards for their singles of the summer from 2014. Lee Brice’s song is great and “Dirt” proved that FGL could get ‘serious.’ But, “Automatic” has everything people want: It’s powerful, it’s nostalgic and it’s, well the ACM darling Miranda. That being said, if Miranda’s gonna ‘lose’ anywhere, it’ll be here, if only because the song won “CMA Song of the Year.” I would pick “Drunk On A Plane” just to give Dierks a major award but in the end, I can’t choose anyone but Miranda and “Automatic” here.
SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
- American Kids – Kenny Chesney/Songwriters: Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally/Publishers: Big Red Toe Music (BMI), Creative Nation Music (BMI), Farm Town Songs (BMI), Smack Ink (ASCAP), Songs Of Universal, Inc. (BMI), Twangin And Slangin Songs (BMI), Universal Music Corporation (ASCAP)
- Automatic – Miranda Lambert/Songwriters: Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert/Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI), Wruckestrike (BMI)
- Drink A Beer – Luke Bryan/Songwriters: Jim Beavers, Chris Stapleton/Publishers: House of Sea Gayle Music (ASCAP), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
- Follow Your Arrow – Kacey Musgraves/Songwriters: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves/Publishers: 351 Music (BMI), Highway 508 Songs (ASCAP), House of Sea Gayle Music (ASCAP), Smack Ink (ASCAP), Universal Music Corporation (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
- Give Me Back My Hometown – Eric Church/Songwriters: Eric Church, Luke Laird/Publishers: Creative Nation Music (BMI), Longer And Louder Music (BMI), Songs Of Universal, Inc. (BMI), Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI), Twangin And Slangin Songs (BMI)
- I Hold On – Dierks Bentley/Songwriters: Dierks Bentley, Brett James/Publishers: Atlas Holdings (ASCAP), Big White Tracks (ASCAP), External Combustion Music (ASCAP), Songs of Brett (ASCAP), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
I think the ACM will follow the CMA here and NOT choose Miranda’s song (I know I said above it’d be the Single slot but really, I meant both categories). I think they’re going to give a little more love to Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” though Eric Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown” or Dierks’ “I Hold On” could sneak in and take the award too. Still, in the end, it’s likely Kacey’s to lose.
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR *(Off Camera Award)
- Rodney Clawson
- Ashley Gorley
- Luke Laird
- Josh Osborne
- Chris Tompkins
They’re all worthy of winning this award so It’s all a crapshoot here. Let’s go with Ashley Gorley for the sake of picking someone.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award)
- American Kids – Kenny Chesney/Director: Shaun Silva/Producer: Don Lepore
- Cop Car – Keith Urban/Director: John Urbano/Producer: Michelle Abnet
- Drunk On A Plane – Dierks Bentley/Director: Wes Edwards/Producer: Clarke Gallivan
- I'm Not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell/Director: James Keach/Producer: Julian Raymond
- Somethin' Bad – Miranda Lambert Duet With Carrie Underwood/Director: Trey Fanjoy/Producer: Trent Hardville
If I am being honest, I’d pick “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” for how haunting the song and video are. That being said, The other videos are all pretty creative, especially “American Kids” and “Drunk On A Plane.” Still, I have to go with my heart (and not my brain) and pick Glen Campbell’s video.
VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]*(Off Camera Award)
- Lonely Tonight – Blake Shelton Featuring Ashley Monroe/Producer: Scott Hendricks/Record Label: Warner Bros. Records
- Meanwhile Back At Mama's – Tim McGraw Featuring Faith Hill/Producers: Byron Gallimore, Tim McGraw/Record Label: Big Machine Records
- Somethin' Bad – Miranda Lambert Duet With Carrie Underwood/Producers: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf/Record Label: RCA Nashville
- The South – The Cadillac Three Featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley & Mike Eli/Producers: Dann Huff, Justin Niebank/Record Label: Big Machine Records
- This Is How We Roll – Florida Georgia Line Featuring Luke Bryan/Producer: Joey Moi/Record Label: Republic Nashville
The ACM has a lot of star power in this category and It could go with anyone but why not give the award to Carrie and Miranda? Maybe they give it for “Lonely Tonight” instead? I dunno. Still, I think they’ll give this to “Somethin’ Bad” if only because it proves female star power is alive and well.
Best New Artist
This one’s like the EOTY and that it’s fan-voted in addition to industry predictions. If you were to go purely on album and single sales as a barometer for fan interaction, I would say Sam Hunt takes home this award. But you know, The other two have been around a wee bit longer (the fact that all three artists were still on their first albums when announced as finalists here and still ‘new’ is remarkable given past winners). That being said, my favorite of the three is Sam Hunt but I wouldn’t be shocked if any of the three take it home.
2015 ACM AWARDS PREDICTIONS RECAP
EOTY: Miranda Lambert
Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton
Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
Vocal Group of the Year: Zac Brown Band
Album of the Year: Platinum/Miranda Lambert
Single of the Year: Automatic/Miranda Lambert
Song of the Year: Follow Your Arrow/Kacey Musgraves
Songwriter of the Year: Ashley Gorley
Video of the Year:I’m Not Gonna Miss You/Glen Campbell
Music Event of the Year: Somethin’ Bad/Lambert & Underwood
New Artist of the Year: Sam Hunt
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