CMA Flashback: Album of the Year

For a look back at the other major categories, visit our CMA Awards page.


  • Dierks Bentley, Up on the Ridge
  • Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
  • Miranda Lambert, Revolution
  • George Strait, Twang
  • Carrie Underwood, Play On

As tends to be the case, there is a mix of big-selling albums and critical favorites in the Album lineup this year.  George Strait is the only one of these artists has won this trophy before, and he’s done it five times!  Twang is his nineteenth nomination in this category, not counting duplicate nominations for production.

Dierks Bentley and Carrie Underwood are both nominated for the second time, while Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum enjoy their first nominations. With a leading nine nods and a victory in this category at the ACM’s, Lambert is the presumptive favorite.


  • Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song
  • Brad Paisley, American Saturday Night
  • Sugarland, Love On the Inside
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless
  • Keith Urban, Defying Gravity

Taylor Swift became only the fourth solo female artist in CMA history to win Album of the Year, an honor also granted to the set by the ACMs and the Grammys (both in the Best Country Album and overall Album of the Year categories.)


  • Brooks & Dunn, Cowboy Town
  • Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
  • Alan Jackson, Good Time
  • George Strait, Troubadour
  • Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride

Ronnie Milsap effortlessly dominated this category in the seventies, winning it three times. He then returned in 1986 to pick up a fourth trophy. It took 22 years for that record to be matched by another artist, but only one more year after that for it to be broken. George Strait became the all-time champ in this category thanks to his back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008. Amazingly, he’d won twice in a row before in 1996 and 1997, along with winning his first trophy in 1985.


  • Dierks Bentley, Long Trip Alone
  • Vince Gill, These Days
  • Brad Paisley, 5th Gear
  • George Strait, It Just Comes Natural
  • Keith Urban, Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing

George Strait tied Ronnie Milsap’s long-standing record of most wins in this category when It Just Comes Natural became his fourth Album of the Year winner.    While the ACM agreed with the CMA’s selection, the Grammys selected Vince Gill’s opus These Days instead. The Grammys made it up to George the following year by giving his next album, Troubadour, the Best Country Album trophy.


  • Brooks & Dunn, Hillbilly Deluxe
  • Kenny Chesney, The Road & The Radio
  • Alan Jackson, Precious Memories
  • Brad Paisley, Time Well Wasted
  • Rascal Flatts. Me & My Gang

After picking up wins in several minor categories over the years, Paisley finally won his first big award since Horizon, taking home Album of the Year at the 2006 awards. He also won Vocal Event of the Year for his duet with Dolly Parton, “When I Get Where I’m Going.”


  • Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying
  • Rascal Flatts, Feels Like Today
  • George Strait, Somewhere Down In Texas
  • Keith Urban, Be Here
  • Lee Ann Womack, There’s More Where That Came From

In a triumph of brilliant artistry over commercial success, the poorest-selling album of the five won the award. Womack’s retro country masterpiece went on to be certified gold on the strength of renewed interest after her big CMA wins that evening.


  • Brooks & Dunn, Red Dirt Road
  • Kenny Chesney, When the Sun Goes Down
  • Toby Keith, Shock’n Y’all
  • Brad Paisley, Mud on the Tires
  • Gretchen Wilson, Here For the Party

In an underwhelming lineup, at least from an artistic standpoint, Kenny Chesney won his first major CMA award when he took home Album for When the Sun Goes Down.


  • Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around
  • Dixie Chicks, Home
  • Toby Keith, Unleashed
  • Tim McGraw, Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors
  • Joe Nichols, Man With a Memory

Cash was nominated before he died, so it was on the strength of “Hurt” that voters finally acknowledged the American series. Unfortunately, this was the weakest of the five albums in the series. Home is a masterpiece, and easily the best album in the category.


  • Kenny Chesney, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems
  • Alan Jackson, Drive
  • Toby Keith, Pull My Chain
  • Alison Krauss & Union Station, New Favorite
  • Willie Nelson, The Great Divide
  • George Strait, The Road Less Traveled

While I would’ve gone with Alison Krauss & Union Station, Drive gave Alan one of his five victories that evening. The album will always have the bragging rights of featuring two of Jackson’s strongest singles of his career: the title track and “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”.


  • Brooks & Dunn, Steers & Stripes
  • Sara Evans, Born To Fly
  • Alan Jackson, When Somebody Loves You
  • Tim McGraw, Set This Circus Down
  • Soundtrack, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

The O Brother phenomenon warranted being acknowledged by winning this award. It’s an excellent project. It’s also the only album in history to win both the Grammy and the CMA award for Album of the Year.


  • Dixie Chicks, Fly
  • Faith Hill, Breathe
  • Alan Jackson, Under the Influence
  • Brad Paisley, Who Needs Pictures
  • Lee Ann Womack, I Hope You Dance

For me, it’s a tough call between the Chicks and Womack. While Fly was the first true showcase of the Chicks’ versatility and depth, some of the production hasn’t aged well. The timeless heartbreak that seeps through much of the Womack set has her album sounding just a bit better seven years later.


  • Vince Gill, The Key
  • Tim McGraw, A Place in the Sun
  • George Strait, Always Never the Same
  • Steve Wariner, Two Teardrops
  • Trisha Yearwood, Where Your Road Leads

While McGraw repeated in the category with a weaker album, Gill was nominated for what remains one of the finest albums of his career. There are five great artists here, but only one at the top of their game.


  • Garth Brooks, Sevens
  • Patty Loveless, Long Stretch of Lonesome
  • Tim McGraw, Everywhere
  • George Strait, One Step at a Time
  • Shania Twain, Come On Over

McGraw’s artistic breakthrough came with Everywhere, and Loveless, again, made a wonderful album. It took many listens for me to realize just how fantastic Come On Over was, but I certainly knew by fall of 1998. Twain should’ve won.


  • Deana Carter, Did I Shave My Legs For This?
  • Alan Jackson, Everything I Love
  • LeAnn Rimes, Blue
  • George Strait, Carrying Your Love With Me
  • Trisha Yearwood, Everybody Knows

I like this Jackson album. “Blue” was a great single on a mediocre album. Carter’s was a lot better, but neither lady was in the same league as Yearwood. The general rule for a Yearwood album is if Garth Fundis produces it, it’s awesome. She deserved the award this year. That said, Strait made history by winning for a third time, tying him with Ronnie Milsap for the most wins in this category.


  • Brooks & Dunn, Borderline
  • Vince Gill, High Lonesome Sound
  • Patty Loveless, The Trouble With the Truth
  • Martina McBride, Wild Angels
  • George Strait, Blue Clear Sky

My favorite of the five is Wild Angels. I had high hopes for McBride after those first three albums, especially this one. She’s been a disappointment for me ever since.


  • Vince Gill, When Love Finds You
  • Alan Jackson, Who I Am
  • Patty Loveless, When Fallen Angels Fly
  • John Michael Montgomery, John Michael Montgomery
  • George Strait, Lead On

Loveless wasn’t even on the original list. She replaced Alison Krauss on the ballot when the CMA realized that Now That I’ve Found You was a compilation, and thus ineligible. That she went on to win was sweet justice, indeed. She definitely made the best album of the five, but Strait and Jackson turned in great sets as well.


  • Alan Jackson, Who I Am
  • George Strait, Easy Come Easy Go
  • Various Artists, Asleep at the Wheel: Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
  • Various Artists, Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles
  • Various Artists, Rhythm, Country & Blues

The eligibility period shifted by one month the following year, so by a fluke of being released in June 1994, Jackson’s Who I Am was nominated two years in a row. In its first year on the ballot, it was the best album in the category and should have won.


  • Brooks & Dunn, Hard Workin’ Man
  • Garth Brooks, The Chase
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter, Come On Come On
  • Vince Gill, I Still Believe In You
  • Alan Jackson, A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ‘Bout Love)

I love The Chase but I would’ve picked Come On Come On, I think. That was a solid album, and Garth had already won the previous two years. Gill swept that year, and his album is pretty good, too.


  • Brooks & Dunn, Brand New Man
  • Garth Brooks, Ropin’ The Wind
  • Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart
  • Tanya Tucker, What Do I Do With Me
  • Wynonna, Wynonna

Wynonna’s debut was awesome, but McEntire made the best album of her career in the wake of the plane crash that killed her road manager and most of her band. She deserved the trophy.


  • Clint Black, Put Yourself In My Shoes
  • Garth Brooks, No Fences
  • Vince Gill, Pocket Full of Gold
  • Alan Jackson, Don’t Rock the Jukebox
  • Reba McEntire, Rumor Has It

Hard to argue with one of the biggest country albums of all time. Heck, it has both “Friends In Low Places” and “The Thunder Rolls”, along with one of my favorite Garth songs: “Unanswered Prayers.”


  • Alan Jackson, Here In The Real World
  • Kentucky Headhunters, Pickin’ On Nashville
  • Ricky Van Shelton, RVS III
  • George Strait, Livin’ It Up
  • Keith Whitley, I Wonder Do You Think of Me

A shocking win, but one that was very much deserved. Their star faded quickly thereafter, but the band was warmly embraced at the beginning of their careers.


  • Kathy Mattea, Willow in the Wind
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. II
  • Ricky Van Shelton, Loving Proof
  • George Strait, Beyond the Blue Neon
  • Randy Travis, Old 8×10

It didn’t have the cultural impact of the first volume, but Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were rewarded for revisiting the world of classic country, with an enviable list of guest stars for support.


  • Rodney Crowell, Diamonds & Dirt
  • Vern Gosdin, Chiseled in Stone
  • Kathy Mattea, Untasted Honey
  • George Strait, If You Ain’t Lovin’ You Ain’t Livin’
  • Hank Williams Jr., Born to Boogie

Hank Jr. was riding a wave of overdue recognition when he picked up this award, but it’s hard to argue in retrospect that his victory was warranted. Crowell’s breakthrough album or Gosdin’s classic would have been better choices.


  • George Jones, Wine Colored Roses
  • Reba McEntire, What Am I Gonna Do About You
  • Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris, Trio
  • George Strait, Ocean Front Property
  • Randy Travis, Always & Forever

Travis really should’ve won the year before for his first album. The landmark Trio would’ve gotten my vote.


  • The Judds, Rockin’ With the Rhythm
  • Reba McEntire, Whoever’s In New England
  • Ronnie Milsap, Lost in the Fifties Tonight
  • George Strait, #7
  • Randy Travis, Storms of Life

Four young new traditionalist acts were nominated with excellent albums that showcased their vision of the genre, and they all lost to Ronnie Milsap, who took home his fourth trophy in this category with a warmed-over doo-wop collection.


  • Alabama, 40 Hour Week
  • The Judds, Why Not Me
  • Reba McEntire, My Kind of Country
  • Ricky Skaggs, Country Boy
  • George Strait, Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind

He’s been nominated for this award more than any other artist in history. After winning his first, he’d have to wait another eleven years to get his second victory.


  • Alabama, Roll On
  • Merle Haggard, That’s The Way Love Goes
  • Anne Murray, A Little Good News
  • Ricky Skaggs, Don’t Cheat In Our Hometown
  • George Strait, Right or Wrong

Anne Murray finally got a little love from the CMA in 1984. Despite numerous nominations over the previous decade, she hadn’t won any CMA awards until this night, when she won her only two to date: Album and Single.


  • Alabama, The Closer You Get
  • John Anderson, Wild and Blue
  • Janie Fricke, It Ain’t Easy
  • Ricky Skaggs, Highways & Heartbreaks
  • Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, Pancho and Lefty

Alabama had been selling records on a scale that country music had never seen before, but this was the only time they proved victorious with one of their mega-selling albums.


  • Alabama, Mountain Music
  • Merle Haggard, Big City
  • George Jones, Still The Same Ole Me
  • Willie Nelson, Always On My Mind
  • Oak Ridge Boys, Bobbie Sue

Willie’s career reached new heights on the strength of “Always on My Mind”, a platinum-selling single that is now a modern standard. The album of the same name brought him his first solo victory in this category.


  • Alabama, Feels So Right
  • George Jones, I Am What I Am
  • Ronnie Milsap, Out Where the Bright Lights Are Glowing
  • Dolly Parton, 9 to 5 & Odd Jobs
  • Don Williams, I Believe In You

Personally, I’m a big fan of Parton’s work-themed album, which features two of her best singles ever: “9 to 5” and “But You Know I Love You.” Williams triumphed with an album that featured one of his biggest hits.


  • Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley, Just Good Ol’ Boys
  • Emmylou Harris, Roses in the Snow
  • Charley Pride, There’s a Little Bit of Hank in Me
  • Kenny Rogers, Kenny
  • Soundtrack, Coal Miner’s Daughter

Emmylou’s bluegrass classic won her a Grammy, but it was Sissy Spacek who became the first woman to win this award. I wonder if she keeps her CMA next to her Oscar for the same role?


  • John Conlee, Rose Colored Glasses
  • Willie Nelson & Leon Russell, One For the Road
  • Johnny Paycheck, Armed and Crazy
  • Kenny Rogers, The Gambler

Kenny Rogers rode the wave of a huge single to win this category, and it’s hard to think of a more iconic album cover from that period. Conlee’s album cover was atrocious, but the music itself was priceless. Aside from the title track, it also features the classic “Backside of Thirty.”


  • Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, Waylon & Willie
  • The Kendalls, Heaven’s Just a Sin Away
  • Ronnie Milsap, It Was Almost Like a Song
  • Dolly Parton, Here You Come Again
  • Don Williams, Country Boy

Again, I loved the Parton record. But I haven’t heard any of the others, so perhaps Milsap was justified in winning his third Album award.

Ronnie Milsap Live1977

  • Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius, I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You
  • Waylon Jennings, Ol’ Waylon
  • Loretta Lynn, I Remember Patsy
  • Ronnie Milsap, Live
  • Kenny Rogers, Kenny Rogers

Milsap’s live album remains a classic, featuring some great musicianship and a crowd cheering in recognition of his big early hits.


  • Sonny James, 200 Years of Country Music
  • Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser & Jessi Colter, Wanted: The Outlaws
  • Ronnie Milsap, Night Things
  • Red Sovine, Teddy Bear
  • Kenny Starr, The Blind Man in the Bleachers
  • Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, Feelin’s

It was a million-seller during an era where country albums just weren’t million-sellers. The concept nearly overwhelmed the music, but it was still a solid compilation that helped create a label that these artists still carry, and many of today’s wannabes long to wear.


  • Glen Campbell, Rhinestone Cowboy
  • John Denver, An Evening with John Denver
  • Freddy Fender, Before the Next Teardrop Falls
  • Ronnie Milsap, A Legend in My Time
  • Waylon Jennings, Ramblin’ Man

Milsap wins for the first time, defeating a full category of fellow future legends.


  • Merle Haggard, If We Make It Through December
  • Olivia Newton-John, If You Love Me, Let Me Know
  • Charlie Rich, Very Special Love Songs
  • Cal Smith, Country Bumpkin
  • Ray Stevens, The Streak
  • Conway Twitty, You’ve Never Been This Far Before

I think I still have Newton-John’s album on vinyl somewhere. If You Love Me slapped the newly recorded title track together with nine other songs that had appeared on her first four studio albums that were only released in Europe and Australia. America didn’t get an actual Newton-John studio album until Have You Never Been Mellow was released worldwide in 1975. Meanwhile, Charlie Rich became the third artist to repeat in this category.


  • Tom T. Hall, The Storyteller
  • Loretta Lynn, Entertainer of the Year
  • Jeanne Pruett, Satin Sheets
  • Charlie Rich, Behind Closed Doors
  • Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man

Rich won for the album that housed his biggest hit to date, a mere two years before his infamous cigarette lighter incident at the CMA awards.


  • Donna Fargo, The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.
  • Merle Haggard, Let Me Tell You About A Song
  • Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors
  • Charley Pride, Sings Heart Songs
  • Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, Lead Me On

George Strait eventually overtook him, but for a couple of decades, Haggard was the artist who had received the most nominations for Album of the Year. This was his second and final win.


  • Lynn Anderson, Rose Garden
  • Merle Haggard, A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World
  • Ray Price, I Won’t Mention It Again
  • Jerry Reed, When You’re Hot, You’re Hot
  • Sammi Smith, Help Me Make It Through The Night

Paul W. Dennis said it best: “Haggard should have won – A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World is a Bob Wills salute that single-handedly launched the Western Swing revival that persists to this day. Don’t believe me? Ask Ray Benson, Commander Cody or George Strait.”


  • Johnny Cash, Hello, I’m Johnny Cash
  • Merle Haggard, Fightin’ Side of Me
  • Merle Haggard, Okie From Muskogee
  • Charley Pride, Just Plain Charley
  • Conway Twitty, Hello Darlin’

In the early years of the CMA awards, sweeping was a big thing. 1970 was the year of the Hag, so much so that he actually defeated himself in this category! A handful of artists were nominated twice for Album of the Year in 1994 because of appearances on all-star projects, but Hag and Glen Campbell remain the only two acts to receive double nominations in this category for their own albums.


  • Glen Campbell, Wichita Lineman
  • Johnny Cash, At San Quentin
  • Merle Haggard, Same Train, Different Time
  • Charley Pride, Live and in Person
  • Tammy Wynette, Stand By Your Man

Cash’s second prison album doesn’t have the raw intensity of his first, but it does have “A Boy Named Sue”, his biggest crossover hit. Legend has it that Cash had to sing it from a paper because he hadn’t learned the lyrics yet.


  • Glen Campbell, By the Time I Get to Phoenix
  • Glen Campbell, Gentle On My Mind
  • Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison
  • Merle Haggard, The Best of Merle Haggard
  • Tammy Wynette, D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Easily one of the most important and acclaimed country albums in history, Cash won for this raw live set.


  • Eddy Arnold, Best of Eddy Arnold
  • Jack Greene, There Goes My Everything
  • Merle Haggard, I’m a Lonesome Fugitive
  • Sonny James, Best of Sonny James
  • Ray Price, Danny Boy

Jack Greene won with his debut album at the debut CMA awards. Only one other act – The Kentucky Headhunters – has ever won this award with their first album.

Facts & Feats

Multiple Wins:

  • (5) – George Strait
  • (4) – Ronnie Milsap
  • (3) – Johnny Cash
  • (2) – Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Charlie Rich

Most Nominations:

  • (19) – George Strait
  • (13) – Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson
  • (9) – Brooks & Dunn
  • (8) – Vince Gill, Willie Nelson
  • (6) – Reba McEntire, Ronnie Milsap
  • (5) – Alabama, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty

Most Nominations Without a Win:

  • (6) – Reba McEntire
  • (5) – Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty
  • (4) – Kenny Chesney, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride
  • (3) – Glen Campbell, Toby Keith, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Urban

Albums that won the CMA Award and the ACM Award:

  • Merle Haggard, Okie From Muskogee
  • Charlie Rich, Behind Closed Doors
  • Willie Nelson, Always on My Mind
  • Alabama, The Closer You Get
  • George Strait, Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind
  • Garth Brooks, No Fences
  • George Strait, Blue Clear Sky
  • George Strait, Carrying Your Love With Me
  • Dixie Chicks, Fly
  • Soundtrack, O Brother Where Art Thou?
  • Alan Jackson, Drive
  • Brad Paisley, Time Well Wasted
  • George Strait, It Just Comes Natural
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless

Albums that Won the CMA award and the Grammy for Album of the Year:

  • Soundtrack, O Brother Where Art Thou?
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless

Albums that Won the CMA award and the Grammy for Best Country Album (only presented in 1965-1966 and 1995-present):

  • Dixie Chicks, Fly
  • George Strait, Troubadour
  • Taylor Swift, Fearless

25 Comments on CMA Flashback: Album of the Year

  1. Ugh, the category that makes me gag. I’m thinking Underwood’s probably going to garner a lot of votes here and there are a handful of songs I like on that album, but I can’t stand behind the idea of rewarding the effort as a whole; the more I listen to it, the more I think her potential was mostly wasted on it, and the production hurts my soul. I’d give the trophy to Jackson for at least doing something semi-original with his big set, though it certainy wasn’t his strongest crop of songs.

  2. I’ve gotta agree.. a pile of duds all around. Just looking at how many bland George Strait albums have won, especially recently, shows how unrepresentitive of reality this category has become.

  3. One of the reasons I didn’t care for the Alan Jackson album was that it felt like a huge step backward, just two mediocre albums taped together. He deserved to be nominated for Like Red on a Rose. Unfortunately, the message the CMA voters sent to him was “be redundant and you’ll be rewarded; be creative and you’ll be ignored.”

  4. None of these albums would be on my “best in show” roster for the year.

    Jackson’s album has the most bright spots within its crop of songs, but then again, it’s a 17-track album. The law of numbers, people!

    But anyway, that would win my vote. Without Josh Turner, Trisha Yearwood and Little Big Town, I’m lacking interest. Next.

  5. I’ve listened to all of these albums and own three of them. I’d give Strait’s album away, if my copy wasn’t digital. Jackson’s was okay, but a disappointment. I didn’t expect much from B&D or Chesney (the two albums that I don’t own). There are several that I like from Underwood’s album, but I like her first album better as a whole.

    So, really, I agree that this is a very weak category this year. I know that better albums were released than these five.

  6. Leeann…This should teach you to listen to the albums online first before buying! It would save you so much money! :P

  7. I actually try to do it when I can, but I have a heck of a time trying to navigate Rhapsody. So, I often end up taking my chances with artists that I can usually count on like Strait & Jackson, though they let me down this time.

  8. Though I correctly predicted four of the five nominees this year, I’m still a bit surprised that the Brooks & Dunn album made the cut over Reba: Duets— not that it’s any better or worse than the five albums that are nominated.

    With the lone possible exception of 2004, I’m not sure that there’s another year post-1985 that has as top-to-bottom useless a set of nominees as this year’s short-list. If there’s a gun to my head, I’d vote for Troubadour almost entirely for Strait’s (underwhelming) duet with Patty Loveless, but, again, that’s a vote I’d cast only under extreme duress.

    As for who’ll actually win, perennial also-rans Brooks & Dunn are the only one I’d feel confident in ruling out. I can’t imagine how the voters who presumably like these albums would pick between Strait’s and Jackson’s dueling “Diminished returns on exactly what we’ve been doing for decades” albums. Underwood didn’t score some of the other nominations (Entertainer of the Year, Single of the Year) that many thought she would, which could suggest a relatively weak base of support for this album, and women have tended to win this category only when the artistry of their project is unassailable. So… Chesney wins?

  9. I’m at a mix between Underwood and Strait. I’ll admit Underwood’s album has flaws, but it’s with those flaws comes unexpected good songs following. I’m betting it’ll be Carrie, but at times hope Strait will get it.

  10. I’ll say Underwood, she’s the only artist there that I actually like…

    Also, I think the Dixie Chicks album Fly has aged very well, better than I Hope You Dance. In fact I’m listening to “Without You” now.

    Anyway, for album was Kathy Mattea’s Coal eligible? I know LBT’s A Place To Land was eligible, and it was very good while Coal was stellar.

  11. I’m horrified to realize and admit that after looking through the track list of Chesney’s album, I like three songs from it while I like 0 from the Strait album. So, technically, I like the Chesney album better than Strait’s. Ugh. C’mon,King George!

  12. “Anyway, for album was Kathy Mattea’s Coal eligible? I know LBT’s A Place To Land was eligible, and it was very good while Coal was stellar.”

    “Coal” was released in early 2008, so that should be within the eligibility period. However, an indie release, no matter how deserving, is never going to win. There aren’t enough interested parties to vote for an independent project.

  13. I’d give the nod to Alan Jackson’s album, a welcome return to form after the okay but lackluster gospel album and the less-than-the-sum-of-its-parts LIKE RED ON A ROSE. It actually was a fairly decent year for albums, but you’d never be able to tell it from this list of nominees.

    The Willie, Merle and Ray LAST OF THE BREED was far better than any of these as was Gene Watson’s IN A PERFECT WORLD. One of those two should have had a chance to take this category

    Among the current pop-country set, the Miranda Lambert album was probably the best album out there. Aside from the wretched opening track “Gunpowder & Lead”, it is a very solid album throughout

  14. My support goes to Underwood because I’m a huge fan and, objectively speaking, her album is a little bit stronger than her competitors’ albums. That said, I agree with Dan that Carrie has so much potential that she didn’t tap into on this album, but it is an improvement from her last album and I think it deserves to be recognized.

  15. I’ve commented elsewhere on the lack of quality in this category, but I’d probably rank them in this order: George Strait, Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn. Despite a few lackluster songs on Troubadour, it’s easily the strongest out of this set. Strait won against stronger competition last year, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win again this year. After all, he did get nominated in 4/5 other categories.

  16. I’ll blend with the voice of the crowd here and say I think it will be Strait’s night for this award. Personally, I would vote for Carrie Underwood just because it’s the only one of the 5 that anybody will remember in 10 years …

  17. I say Carrie’s album.

    It’s an awesome album.

    Also, I don’t really see why George Strait or Brooks and Dunn’s albums were nominated, especially Brook and Dunn, who’s biggest hit for that album is probably the recent “Put a Girl In it” and Strait who has had meadoaker radio run.

  18. Boy, most of those winners are men. And I think it was only in 2000 when most of the nominees (3 out of 5) were women.

  19. I’m rooting for Carrie cause yes this was an improvement from her first it might not have the consistant content as some veterans but the vocals are undeniable. On the other hand there are four men in the mix and that usually mens one will win as B&D say “put a girl in it”, to satisfy people kind of like Sugarland over Rascal flatts for EOTY. I do hope it would be her though that would be great especially cause she got snubb last year for her debut album which was huge and broke how many records. I just like to see the women get more appreciation in the big categories tha usually go to men. Cause the girls can hang.

  20. I’m gonna have to throw my support at Carrie Underwood. I’m not crazy about Alan, George, or Kenny, and Brooks & Dunn hasn’t produced as much success as usual. Carrie’s is the only one of heard, and I like it!

  21. I never got the big deal with The Man that Comes Around. It’s just so bland and boring. I have trouble warming up to some acoustic albums.

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