It’s again time for me to place my official speculations on how the CMA’s will shake out Wednesday night. Here goes nothing…
Song of the Year
“Beautiful Crazy,” Luke Combs (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford)
“Girl,” Maren Morris (Songwriters: Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin)
“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton (Songwriters: Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy)
“Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves (Songwriters: Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves)
“Tequila,” Dan + Shay (Songwriters: Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds)
My initial gut was that “Tequila” was going to win, but the song falls into that awkward category of being nominated last year and this year, much like Sam Hunt “Body Like A Back Road” in ’17 & ’18. I’ve talked myself out of it and now believe Beautiful Crazy snags the SotY crystal this year.
Single of the Year
“Burning Man,” Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
“Girl,” Maren Morris
“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton
“Millionaire,” Chris Stapleton
“Speechless,” Dan + Shay
Just a refresher on the difference between Song of the Year and Single of the Year… Song is an award that the actual songwriters get the credit for, single is for the artist that performs said song…
I’m torn on this award because I really feel like Dan+Shay should win it because they are well overdue to claim a few awards, but maybe that just due comes later in the evening. Given the overall theme of the evening, I’m beginning to think Maren Morris lands the Single of the Year award with “Girl.”
Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band
Old bleeping Dominion… Lock of the night. They are so good, I predict a multi-year run for OD.
Album of the Year
Center Point Road, Thomas Rhett (Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson)
Cry Pretty, Carrie Underwood (Producers: David Garcia, Jim Jonsin, Carrie Underwood)
Dan + Shay, Dan + Shay (Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks)
Desperate Man, Eric Church (Producers: Jay Joyce, Arturo Buenahora Jr.)
Girl, Maren Morris (Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin)
This might be the toughest category to pick. It certainly is the toughest for me. I immediately gravitate to Dan + Shay because they had 3 smashes off the album… On another note, how does Luke Combs not get nominated with that massive album he had… but, unfortunately, we can’t change the noms. My head says that this is the opportunity for the country community to recognize Maren Morris’ producer busbee, who passed away in September.
New Artist of the Year
This year, it’s not nearly as easy of a lock as last year when Luke Combs was nominated and was the sure-thing. Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena would erupt if Ashley McBryde’s name would be called since she is very well respected around Nashville, and Midland nominated again could get the nod after being blocked by Combs last year. I think this award goes to Morgan Wallen. Sure, it might be a bit of wishful thinking but I truly feel Wallen grabs the award Wednesday night.
Vocal Duo of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
I’m calling the end of Brothers Osborne’s 3-year run. Even they admitted last year that Dan + Shay had a good argument to claim the category. This year I think 6-time nominees Smyers + Mooney get the money. I also predict tears during their acceptance speech.
Male Vocalist of the Year
Yet another conundrum. Does Stapleton repeat? He didn’t have a massive year as he did last year. If he doesn’t win… It surely goes to Urban, right. Not necessarily… Dierks and Rhett both have legit reasons they could take it as well. But why not Combs? How many consecutive Number 1’s does a guy need to have to get the accolades? I’d say just call it a 5-way tie, but if I’m forced to decide, I’ll pick Thomas Rhett, for no other reason than he’s my favorite.
Female Vocalist of the Year
Quite the query in my mind here because I think I have a good feeling on who wins the night’s top honors, but can someone win Entertainer of the Year and not male/female vocalist? I’m sure it’s happened before and I think it can happen again. I’m calling Maren to win her 3rd award of the night.
Entertainer of the Year
You would be justified in awarding it to any of the nominees, but if I were a gambling man, I’d put it all on Carrie Underwood. Women of country night, there is no doubt in my mind Carrie is the Queen of the ball at this year’s CMAs.