ACM Picks & Predictions

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Entertainer of the Year

Picks

  • Jason Aldean
  • Toby Keith
  • Miranda Lambert – Dan
  • Brad Paisley – Leeann, Tara
  • Taylor Swift – Kevin
  • Keith Urban

Predictions

  • Jason Aldean
  • Toby Keith
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Brad Paisley
  • Taylor Swift – Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • Keith Urban

Kevin: With three of the genre’s biggest entertainers left off the list – Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, and Zac Brown Band –  the field is clear for Taylor Swift, the only act of the six that truly was an Entertainer of the Year this year.

Dan: I’m mostly just Entertained by this bizarro Toby Keith nomination. But that’s why the ACMs are the Golden Globes of country music. Of the six, I’ll pick Lambert, who’s helped reinvigorate the mainstream creatively and now outsells many of the big guys. I’d be OK with Swift, too, though she’s carved out such a unique niche in popular music that it’s hard to think of her as “representing” a particular genre in the way this award suggests. With the fan vote still intact, I could see this going lots of ways, but I’ll guess Swift.

Leeann: Since Underwood isn’t in the running, Swift’s equally enthusiastic fan base seems most likely to push the votes her way.

Tara: I’d like to eventually support Lambert, but I’m not sure she’s fully formed as an entertainer just yet. Then again, this category seems to be morphing into something different than it used to be. Paisley and Urban are the consummate entertainers, Swift is a phenomenon, Aldean is a rising star and Keith, well, I’m as entertained as Dan is. It feels a little “take your pick”…and I guess my pick is Paisley. Now that Underwood’s voters are out of the picture, though, I think Swift will take this, with Paisley or Aldean as a close second.

Top Male Vocalist of the Year

Picks

  • Jason Aldean – Dan, Kevin
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton – Leeann
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban – Tara

Predictions

  • Jason Aldean – Dan
  • Brad Paisley – Leeann, Tara
  • Blake Shelton – Kevin
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

Kevin: Too many repeat winners up against two newbies. I still find Shelton’s CMA victory ridiculous, and Aldean is long overdue for industry recognition.

Dan: But look – where’s Toby here?! Love you, ACMs! I’m thinking Aldean for this one, too. He’s not my favorite, but he does have his own thing going, and maybe the Academy has noticed that he moves lots of units and Blake Shelton doesn’t.

Leeann: While I’d love to see Shelton take it this year, since he somehow got nominated, I’m guessing it’ll reflexively go to Paisley again.

Tara: Lately I’ve been inexplicably craving Keith Urban: even the Urban-lite music of his past two albums excites me more than some of the stuff on the air right now. I think the voters will stick with the familiar, though, and reward Brad for the 61st time.

Top Female Vocalist of the Year

Picks

  • Miranda Lambert – Dan, Leeann
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood – Kevin, Tara
  • Lee Ann Womack

Predictions

  • Miranda Lambert – Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Lee Ann Womack

Kevin: I think the Lambert victory lap will continue, but Underwood’s the only one with recent output that  I regularly listen to.

Dan: Lambert over Swift for the same reasons I mentioned in my Entertainer blurb.

Leeann: The Academy loves them some Miranda Lambert and, presumably, nothing in particular has happened in the last year to change that. So, this award is hers to lose.

Tara: Lambert is probably the best representation of the genre’s current momentum and direction, – and I think the voters will act on that, – but Underwood deserves some sort of recognition for her stellar Play On tour. This award is pretty much her last shot.

Top Vocal Group of the Year

Picks

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town – Dan, Kevin
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band – Leeann, Tara

Predictions

  • Lady Antebellum – Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • Little Big Town
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

Kevin: I would be happy with LTB, ZBB, or TBP.

Dan: I mean, wouldn’t it be lovely to see Little Big Town rewarded just for being Little Big Town all these years? Back in reality, though, Lady A will fly a yawn cloud to the podium while Zac Brown Band and The Band Perry continue creeping up from behind.

Leeann: Randy Rogers Band out of the mix (let’s be realistic), Zac Brown Band is my favorite of the bunch. I expect Lady A to continue their winning streak, however.

Tara: Zac Brown Band released one of my favorite albums of 2010, and I’m digging how fresh their music sounds as of late. I think Lady Antebellum’s awards show ownage will continue, though.

Top Vocal Duo of the Year

Picks

  • The JaneDear Girls
  • Joey + Rory – Leeann
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Steel Magnolia – Dan
  • Sugarland – Kevin, Tara

Predictions

  • The JaneDear Girls
  • Joey + Rory
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Steel Magnolia
  • Sugarland – Kevin, Dan, Leeann,Tara

Kevin: Who else?

Dan: If we were judging just by singles, Sugarland’s win here would be as deserved as it is inevitable. I don’t feel like rewarding The Incredible Machine, though. I wonder who Thompson Square is going to end up ousting from this category – JaneDear Girls, Joey + Rory or Montgomery Gentry?

Leeann: I know Joey+Rory doesn’t even deserve to win, but they’re honestly the only duo that I like in this category. I’d be a fool to bet against Sugarland, especially (as the others have said) based on their strong singles.

Tara: …I’m going to judge by singles and back Sugarland. Yeah. I don’t know.

Top New Artist of the Year

Picks

  • Eric Church
  • The Band Perry – Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara

Predictions

  • Eric Church – Kevin, Leeann
  • The Band Perry – Dan, Tara

Kevin: The whole fan-voted thing makes me think that Church will win, even though The Band Perry is more popular with record buyers.

Dan: I have a little more faith in the Perry siblings’ tastes and talents moving forward. Church’s fans always seem pretty revved up, though; I bet they’ll power him to the win.

Leeann: The Band Perry’s music is at least interesting, but Church has been around longer. So, it’s anybody’s guess.

Tara: The Perrys are almost always spunky and interesting, while Church is only sometimes a legit badass. If we’re rewarding the artist(s) who has the best grasp on his or her potential, I guess I’ll go with the former.

Album of the Year

Picks

  • Dierks Bentley, Up on the RidgeKevin, Leeann, Tara
  • Kenny Chesney, Hemingway’s Whiskey
  • Lady Antebellum, Need You Now
  • Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song - Dan
  • Taylor Swift, Speak Now
  • Zac Brown Band, You Get What You Give

Predictions

  • Dierks Bentley, Up on the Ridge - Kevin, Tara
  • Kenny Chesney, Hemingway’s Whiskey
  • Lady Antebellum, Need You NowDan, Leeann
  • Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song
  • Taylor Swift, Speak Now
  • Zac Brown Band, You Get What You Give

Kevin: Somebody had to pick up where the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band left off.

Dan: I think Swift made the most consistently strong set here, but Johnson made the most ambitious and unique, and he hasn’t actually won a major album award yet. But Lady A made money.

Leeann: I have a bad feeling about Lady A, but I’d be happy if either Jamey Johnson or Dierks Bentley proved me wrong.

Tara: You Get What You Give is my favorite of the set, but Up On The Ridge is the best. I have a funky/good feeling that the voters will agree with me. (And yes, NARAS, in case you were wondering: I’m still mad at you for what you did with this category.)

Single Record of the Year

Picks

  • Easton Corbin, “A Little More Country Than That”
  • Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away” – Kevin
  • Kenny Chesney, ‘The Boys of Fall”
  • Lee Brice, “Love Like Crazy”
  • Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me” – Dan, Leeann, Tara

Predictions

  • Easton Corbin, “A Little More Country Than That”
  • Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”
  • Kenny Chesney, ‘The Boys of Fall”
  • Lee Brice, “Love Like Crazy”
  • Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me” – Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara

Kevin: I prefer ZBB and AJ on this one, but Lambert’s hit is in the same inevitability league as “I Hope You Dance” and “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Dan: “As She’s Walking Away” and “The House That Built Me” will both hold up over time. My preference here is slight.

Leeann: With the exception of “As She’s Walking Away”, it seems that “The House that Built Me” was set up to win based on the inferior quality of the other nominees. Either that or 2010 really was as bad for country music as I remember.

Tara: Truth be told, I enjoy “As She’s Walking Away” more than I enjoy “The House That Built Me.” But there’s an intangible quality to Lambert’s vocal performance that puts it on a slightly different level for me.

Song of the Year

Picks

  • “A Little More Country Than That” – written by Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress, Wynn Varble; performed by Easton Corbin
  • “As She’s Walking Away” – written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrettey; performed by Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson
  • “The House That Built Me” – written by Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin; performed by Miranda Lambert – Dan, Leeann, Tara
  • “If I Die Young” – written by Kimberly Perry; performed by The Band Perry – Kevin
  • “Love Like Crazy” – written by Tim James, Doug Johnson; performed by Lee Brice

Predictions

  • “A Little More Country Than That” – written by Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress, Wynn Varble; performed by Easton Corbin
  • “As She’s Walking Away” – written by Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrettey; performed by Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson
  • “The House That Built Me” – written by Tom Douglas, Allen Shamblin; performed by Miranda Lambert – Dan, Kevin, Leeann, Tara
  • “If I Die Young” – written by Kimberly Perry; performed by The Band Perry
  • “Love Like Crazy” – written by Tim James, Doug Johnson; performed by Lee Brice

Kevin: “The House That Built Me” is what Song of the Year awards exist for. But I like the tender melancholy of “If I Die Young” quite a bit more.

Dan: Please just go read the second verse to “Love Like Crazy” and then come back.

Leeann: I can’t imagine that “The House that Built Me” won’t take it, but I do have a funny feeling about “As She’s walking Away.”

Tara: No question here.

Video of the Year

Picks

  • “The Boys of Fall” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Hillbilly Bone” – Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
  • “The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Only Prettier” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Stuck Like Glue” – Sugarland – Dan, Kevin

Predictions

  • “The Boys of Fall” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Hillbilly Bone” – Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins – Kevin
  • “The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert – Dan
  • “Only Prettier” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Stuck Like Glue” – Sugarland

Kevin: I think the Sugarland clip is the only one that is truly memorable, but this race gives voters the opportunity to hit two B-list stars with one stone.

Dan: I’m still very, very entertained by the “Stuck Like Glue” video. Maybe I shouldn’t be, since it’s about stalking and kidnapping and drugging and stuff. But I am.

Vocal Event of the Year

Picks

  • “As She’s Walking Away” – Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson – Kevin, Dan, Leeann, Tara
  • “Blue Sky” – Emily West featuring Keith Urban
  • “Coal Miner’s Daughter” – Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, and Miranda Lambert
  • “Cold Beer” – Colt Ford featuring Jamey Johnson
  • “Good to Be Me” – Uncle Kracker featuring Kid Rock

Predictions

  • “As She’s Walking Away” – Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson – Kevin, Dan, Leeann, Tara
  • “Blue Sky” – Emily West featuring Keith Urban
  • “Coal Miner’s Daughter” – Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, and Miranda Lambert
  • “Cold Beer” – Colt Ford featuring Jamey Johnson
  • “Good to Be Me” – Uncle Kracker featuring Kid Rock

Kevin: As Vocal Events ago, “As She’s Walking Away” ranks with the best of the last ten years.

Dan: This field reminds me of when Heath Ledger was nominated for The Dark Knight. The preordained winner and…some other people.

Leeann: I’m cheating, but ditto to Dan.

Tara: The ZBB/Jackson duet never loses its fiddle-y sparkle. I wonder if ten years from now, I’ll still get warm fuzzies when Jackson starts singing?

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22 Comments

Filed under ACM Awards

22 Responses to ACM Picks & Predictions

  1. RezNo Gravatar

    Carrie Underwood for the Top Female Vocalist!

  2. I wouldn’t underestimate Underwood’s fans, they might back one of the males to win, to ensure Swift’s (and maybe Lambert’s) loss?? …It’s very possible.

    The only winners I’m rooting for are “Stuck Like Glue” for video, “House” for Single/Song, Up On The Ridge for album, and Little Big Town for Group…. Long shots, I know.

  3. BobNo Gravatar

    I’ll record the show and maybe some day I’ll watch part of it – at least the Zac Brown performance. Even though I’m a lifelong Yankee fan, watching the former NY teams on Sunday Night Baseball seems like a better choice than the ACM’s.

    I’ll root for Brad as entertainer (since ZBB was not nominated), even though the two songs I’ve heard from his new album are pretty weak. For new artist, I like BP.

  4. CraigNo Gravatar

    Let’s see…

    Entertainer: Carrie Underwood
    –oh, wait. I forgot, she did something to the ACMs and CMAs to hate her this year, so I’ll have to go with Taylor Swift. Although, the Carrie fans are still pissed beyond words that their girl didn’t get the deserved nod (heck, she deserves the win after the monster year she had in 2010), so I’m pretty sure they backed Brad and/or Keith, so they might end up winning.

    Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley
    Blake’s too new, Jason’s overdue, Keith is always the pass-over in this category, and George is done-zo. Jason’s overdue, but Brad will take it. He’s already gotten it 4 times in a row.

    Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood
    This will be the one shock of the night when the DESERVING vocalist wins against Miranda. I love Ms. Lambert and all, but if we’re going by vocals, then all you have to do is play “Temporary Home” and “What Can I Say?” from Carrie, and compare it to “The House That Built Me” and “Only Prettier” from Miranda, and it’s obvious that Carrie’s the superior. Lee Ann couldn’t win, Taylor’s not on any of the other nominees’ levels, and Reba will be overshadowed by the blonde bombshells.

    Duo: Sugarland
    Duh.

    Group: Lady Antebellum
    ZBB would be their only competition, but ZBB’s year pales in comparison to Lady A’s.

    Album: Speak Now, Taylor Swift
    It’s obvious that the ACMs have lost any respect for quality music and simply give in to the popular acts, so expect Taylor to win.

    Song: “The House That Built Me”, Miranda Lambert
    It’s already won everything else, so why not?

    Single: “The House That Built Me”, Miranda Lambert
    See the reason for “Song”

    New Artist: The Band Perry
    Just because Eric Church actually beat out Easton Corbin.

    Musical Event: “As She’s Walking Away”, Zac Brown Band feat. Alan Jackson
    Finally, a better song can win, rather than losing to the undeserving phenomenon that was “Hilly Billy Bone”.

    Video: “Stuck Like Glue”
    Best Country music video of the year, bar none.

  5. JessicaNo Gravatar

    I totally disagree that Swift was the only entertainer of the year this year.

    That award should go to either Brad or Keith, for sure.

    However, with all the bribing that the nominees have done and the fact that it’s fan-voted, I won’t be at all shocked if Swift won.

  6. JoJoNo Gravatar

    Entertainer: Taylor (should be Carrie though)

    Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton (I have not been crazy about his recent singles, but I think he deserves some recognition for past songs that should have gotten him nominations/wins–The Baby, Nobody But Me, Austin, Goodbye Time)

    Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood

    Duo: Sugarland

    Group: Zac Brown Band

    Album: Need You Now

    Single: The House That Built Me

    Song: The House That Built Me

    Video: The Boys Of Fall

    Vocal Event: As She’s Walking Away

  7. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    We didn’t mention it in the post originally, but we will, in fact, be live-blogging the show tomorrow at 8/7 central.

  8. KeithNo Gravatar

    Everybody needs to stop whining about Carrie Underwood not being nominated for Entertainer of the Year. There’s probably a reason for it… Oh yeah, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywtJYvDBKek. That alone should be enough to blacklist her for the next decade. The whole Play On album, in fact, is pretty bad in general, and she needs to lean a little more country and a little less Taylor Swift.

  9. JoJoNo Gravatar

    How is saying that someone should have been nominated whining?? Carrie should have been nominated, plain and simple And I don’t think Undo It is the reason she didn’t get a nomination. It was a #1 single on COUNTRY radio.

  10. klarkNo Gravatar

    Jojo,
    Yeah, it was a #1 single on the country radio but “Undo It” is something like an inferior poppy copy of someone else’s song. “Play On” isn’t bad, it is bland. Disappointingly bland.

  11. JoJoNo Gravatar

    I completely disagree; Play On is AMAZING!! For one of the songs, I have about 450 plays lol I listened to that album like crazy for about a year. “Someday When I Stop Loving You,” “This Time,” and “Songs Like This” are some of the best songs Carrie has recorded in my opinion. Anxiously awaiting album #4!

  12. My predictions:
    ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
    Should Win -Taylor Swift
    Will Win – Taylor Swift
    TOP MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – Jason Aldean
    Will Win – Brad Paisley
    TOP FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – Reba McEntire
    Will Win – Miranda Lambert
    TOP VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – Sugarland
    Will Win – Sugarland
    TOP VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – The Band Perry
    Will Win – Zac Brown Band
    ALBUM OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – Taylor Swift
    Will Win – Taylor Swift/Jamey Johnson
    SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – “If I Die Young”
    Will Win – The House That Built Me” (probably one of the most overrated songs EVER)
    SONG OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – “If I Die Young”
    Will Win – The House That Built Me”
    VIDEO OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – “Stuck Like Glue”
    Will Win “The House That Built Me”
    VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
    Should Win – “As She’s Walking Away”
    Will Win – “As She’s Walking Away”
    I seem to be in the minority but i think reba deserves to take home FVOTY, besides one #1 hit what else has miranda had. Reba had 3 top tens last year, including two #1 hits, she started the year and ended the year with a #1, Released a new album which hit the top 10 on the Billboard 200 making her the female country artist with the most top 10 albums on the chart. We all know it will probably be miranda, but she doesnt deserve to take home FVOTY in my opinion.

  13. andrewNo Gravatar

    Miranda Lambert is the most OVERRATED artist EVER. Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood should take FVOTY home.

  14. Ever? Hyperbole much?

    Now, Jason Aldean would be another story.

  15. BobNo Gravatar

    I guess we all have an opinion as to overrated artists. To me, overrated has nothing to do with selling a lot of cds. It’s winning awards that I feel should have gone to others. My most overrated nominations would go to two of the most popular artists in country music history, the current king and queen.

  16. Who are the current king and queen?

  17. George Strait and Reba McEntire? or are we talking Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood?

  18. rezNo Gravatar

    So which awards went to Brad and Carrie that should have been given to others?

  19. BobNo Gravatar

    Jonathan got it, although maybe it’s time for a new K&Q. Most of my favorites are not popular enough to qualify. I’d say Trisha on the female side but I’m starting to wonder is she will ever come out with a new album. On the male side I’ll say Chris Young because he has a great voice and to show that I’m not against new artists. I’m not. Brad is brilliant in a lot of ways but I see him more as the Court Jester. It’s not a knock. I love funny songs.

  20. EvanNo Gravatar

    I have a bad feeling that tonight is gonna have WAY to much outside of country influences and isn’t gonna be any good. I’m gonna watch it anyways. Are you guys gonna do I live blog cause I always enjoy those. BTW, I’m a Carrie Underwood fan and I don’t have a big problem with her not getting the entertainer nomination. Its all political anyways. The ACMs didn’t nominate her cause of the fear that she might win for the 3rd time in a row. And they didn’t want that. If they had kept it non fan voted (the way i prefer it) they could have still nominated her and not have her win. Its the CMAs that are really treating Carrie badly. But that’s ok because favor comes and goes in the music industry and Carrie had a TON of awards her first 5 years. I used to care more about the awards, now i just want good music.

  21. rezNo Gravatar

    So what would happen if Swift wins Album? Will she be part of the Superstar Women special? Or Miranda will just have to be cut out of the show?

  22. Yes, we do plan to have a live blog tonight. Hope you’ll join us.