Picking the CMA Nominees: Female Vocalist of the Year

In the Entertainer and Male Vocalist races, I’ve been making the case for fresh blood. In those categories, the routine nominees are mostly past their peaks, and there’s room to let some rising stars in on the action.

Oh, to be able to make the same case for the Female Vocalist race. Let’s take a look at last year’s nominees:


  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

For the first time in this category’s history, I believe voters are facing a dilemma that plagued the Vocal Duo category for most of the nineties: there just aren’t enough worthy nominees to finish out the category.

Even earlier in this decade, when radio was barely playing any women at all, there were women like Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, and Patty Loveless who earned nominations for their critically acclaimed roots records.  Krauss was even a regular in this category for a good chunk of the decade, and despite being largely absent from radio, she sold more records than some of her fellow nominees.

This year, there isn’t even a woman who could step forward and claim that mantle.  So my picks don’t bring anything new to the table. Maybe some of you can make the case that I’m unable to, and suggest new blood in the comments.

Picks for Female Vocalist

Miranda Lambert

She deserves her fourth consecutive nomination, and on the strength of Revolution and its hit single “The House That Built Me”, I think that she deserves the win this year.

Martina McBride

In any other year, this would be the slot that should be up for grabs. McBride didn’t release a new album, and while she had some success at radio with “Wrong Baby Wrong”, it didn’t crack the top ten or reignite album sales. Still, who is standing in her way? Kellie Pickler? Gretchen Wilson? Laura Bell Bundy?   I fully expect her to earn her thirteenth consecutive nomination, matching Reba McEntire’s record run from 1983-1995.

Reba McEntire

Speaking of McEntire, she’s been popping up in this category again in recent years.  After those thirteen consecutive nominations ended in 1995, the race was far too competitive for a good while.  She’s earned three nominations since then, in 2004, 2006, and 2009.  Her massive hit “Consider Me Gone” and surprisingly strong record sales mean that this won’t be a filler nomination. She’s earned it.

Taylor Swift

Yes, I know the idea of her winning vocalist awards makes many wince, but c’mon now. There’s no denying she’s one of the top female artists today. Until Eminem’s recent comeback, she was the biggest star in all of music, period.  And she’s got a shot at reclaiming that title with her third album, if initial reaction to “Mine” is any indication.

Carrie Underwood

The three-time winner is radio’s favorite artist and her album sales have remained strong. If Lambert hadn’t surged with “The House That Built Me”, I think that Underwood would be ahead in the race this year.  If she makes the final ballot for Entertainer, I suspect that voters will reward her in that category and give Female Vocalist to Lambert.  There’s good precedent for this, as Dolly Parton (1978), Barbara Mandrell (1980), and Shania Twain (1999) won Entertainer without winning Female Vocalist that night.  It’s happened even more in the Entertainer/Male races, given that the big prize has gone to men far more frequently.


  1. The pickin’s are indeed slim.

    Part of me would be inclined to vote for Connie Smith and Trisha Yearwood just on principle, since they’re still alive and can still completely sing any of the women who are actually in contention under the table.

    Barring that, I’d say that quality of work probably bears more weight for me here than in the Male Vocalist race, where overall “presence” can and should have some factor. Based on what each of them has released during the eligibility period, I would vote for Laura Bell Bundy and Lambert without reservation, then for Underwood, LeAnn Rimes (even though “Swingin'” bricked at radio), and Swift in that order, with Martina McBride, Reba, and God help us all Kellie Pickler as the next three in. It’s too bad that Rosanne Cash, Patty Loveless, and Allison Moorer (and maybe even a Bluegrass singer like Dale Ann Bradley) are too far off the radar to have any real shot, because I’d swap most of them out in a heartbeat.

    It’s hard not to miss the mid 90s when thinking about this line-up.

  2. @Kevin

    Your picks are about the only way this award can shake out in the long run. I would pick Miranda Lambert to take this trophy and Carrie Underwood taking the EOTY,same as you. Reba could sneak in a win she’s had an outstanding year with radio and sales.

    If “Drop On By” is the hit I think it should be Laura Bell Bundy will be in the running next year.

    This is a treat for the eyes and ears:

  3. I am quite sure that your predictions will be proven correct when the nominations are announced. I can’t think of any other possible set of nominees.

    I think Miranda Lambert just might have this one wrapped up, if the CMAs can lay off Taylor and Carrie this time. She has put out some great singles lately, and has finally gotten some support at radio. I think she’s the one to beat.

    If Miranda doesn’t win, then it could still be a toss-up between Swift and Underwood. I think Reba’s chances at winning have improved with her recent successes, but I’m still not betting on a Reba victory. I think Martina is the only one who is definitely out of the running.

  4. Laura Bell Bundy’s one of the only artists who is a lock for my best-of-albums list (and singles too.) There really hasn’t been much I’ve enjoyed. Even Kim Richey disappointed me this time out. I like the new Merle Haggard, though. Maybe there are some other albums that I’m forgetting about.

  5. I agree with all of those predictions. This year will be the race between Carrie and Miranda.

    Miranda’s “The House That Built Me” will definitely put her ahead, but Carrie’s “Temporary Home” and “Undo It” could give her the win. Plus, radio is playing the life out of “Undo It” and “Cowboy Casanova”. “Mama’s Song”, her next single, could be the emotional and personal ballad she needs to sway voters her way.

    All I know is that Martina won’t take it, Reba probably won’t, and I wouldn’t bet on Swift taking it, seeing as she was virtually a ghost during the eligibility period, since “Fifteen” and “Fearless” didn’t do anywhere near as well as the others from her album.

    I honestly don’t know who it will go to. The CMAs have never been ones to honor Miranda, so maybe this past year changed their mind. All I know is that this year will be a fight between Carrie and Miranda, and Carrie should definitely take Entertainer of the Year.

  6. I concur with your list of nominations, since these are the only 5 females who have really stood out in the past few months.

    Martina is a long shot since she has not had as much success at radio, and so is Taylor, considering that she hasn’t been much of a presence.

    The only ones that really have a shot are Lambert, Underwood, and McEntire (in that order). Because all three have earned success at radio with big hits and have had their recent albums sell a lot of records. But I am thinking (and hoping!) that Lambert will take home the win, since the panel is probably looking for new blood and Lambert is overdue, and she had a muli-week number one in the eligibilty period– something that only one of the other nomineees (McEntire) can say they have recieved as well [I think, i don’t know if Swift or Underwood got a multiweek? I’m pretty sure Underwood only had 3 one week #1s, right?].

    However, all 5 definatly deserve nominations this year; especially for the reasons Kevin has mentioned.

  7. I would love so much to see Kellie Pickler take Martina McBride’s nomination in the future. Obviously, that’s not too likely to happen this time around, but if her third album is as good as I think it will be, then she may be next to have her Miranda moment.

  8. I’d swap out McBride for Rosanne Cash – though the latter isn’t in the mainstream country community much at all now, The List sold pretty well and is a good album. I’d be up for seeing Laura Bell Bundy in that slot, too. I wonder if she may have a sneaky shot at a New Artist nom, radio performance notwithstanding. (We oughta do that category, too.)

  9. Now this I agree with, Miranda Lambert does deserve to win here. She’s had a breakout year. Her album (released September 09) has been selling like hotcakes in recent months and Has been outselling Carrie’s newer album that was released in November for about 5 months in a row. Now, that’s what you call breakout. I know Carrie has the overall higher total (due to the benefit of releasing right during the holiday) but the fact that Miranda Lambert has outsold her for 5 consecutive months with an album that’s 2 months older is quite impressive.

    Miranda Lambert is surely winning FVOTY.

  10. BTW, Carrie is NOT winning EOTY are the CMA’s. That award is not fan voted a nomination there will be her win. She should not have won the ACM EOTY so I doubt they will reward her double. Taylor has yet to win ACM entertainer and she’s had huge years. So no doubt carrie will not be winning the CMA EOTY. Perhaps if Taylor had won the ACM but they will feel the need to give Taylor the award since she was clearly robbed by fan votes in April 2010 at the ACM awards.

  11. ^^^^ What he said…

    I’ve 2 albums that were released on Mercury Nashville in 1995 (self titled) and 1997 (Bitter Sweet), I haven’t kept up with her, didn’t know she was still recording, thought she was primarily a writer with a great voice.

  12. Um Willis sorry but you couldn’t be more wrong! First of all I highly doubt Carrie’s fan base so badly out voted Taylor’s at the ACM’s that the role of the 3000 ACM members didn’t matter. Most likely the ACM’s voting is split 50/50 between fans and members which mean that Carrie had to be right on Taylor tail in the member voting for her Fan base to even have a chance to vote enough to win. Also seeing as Carrie’s fan base isn’t nearly the size of Taylor’s, Carrie most likely did not win the fan votes and there for would have had to have gotten more votes than Taylor from ACM members to win which means she would most likely get more votes than taylor at the CMA’s as well.

    Now I do think Miranda will win in this category since she has had a break out year and the song the House that Built Me did so beautifully on the charts and was such a beautifully sung song.

  13. Well Kayla, I simply disagree because Carrie has won most of the fan voted awards against Taylor LATELY (which I think is a combination of not only Carrie’s fan base but other’s as well which is why I clearly said Taylor was robbed by FAN VOTES (I said nothing about Carrie fans, I said FAN votes) at the ACM awards, because honestly looking at Carrie latest numbers it is clear her fanbase isn’t half the size of Taylor’s. First it started with the PCA’s in country female Carrie winning the fan vote. But then when it came time for Carrie to win where Industry votes counted (the 2010 grammy’s) Taylor won (or, SWSRN won). Then when it came time for the ACM’s Carrie and Taylor were BOTH shut out with the exception of the fan voted (partial or not, Reba advertised that being a fan voted award and texting was allowed during the entire telecast so that award at the ACM’s is strongly fan voted, multiple texting is allowed….Carrie won. But then when the forbes lists, concert lists and album sales lists are released who’s at the top (Taylor or SWSRN) and who is usually missing or far down on the lists (Carrie).

    Clearly the two awards are voted very differently. Just look at the winners. Carrie won ACM Eoty in 2009 and wasn’t nominated for CMA eoty for 2009. Taylor won CMA Eoty for 2009 and while she was nominated for ACM for 2010 she didn’t win and that is because fans were allowed manipulate the results for hours upon hours as well as unlimited online voting (how is that honest and fair?) LOL!

    Additionally, I think it also hurt that there were so many nominees so the few industry votes had to be split up amongst 8 people instead of the usual 4 or 5. As far as we know neither Taylor or Carrie might have won the industry portion of that award (but I’m am confident Taylor would have won that ACM award if the industry votes weren’t split between 8 contenders. Having 8 contenders in that category gave the fans much more power to manipulate the system.

    If Taylor can lose ACM EOTY with the year that she’s had, how Can Carrie fans be so sure that she can win the CMA EOTY having a year that hasn’t matched anything Taylor’s done over the past 2 years? If Taylor can lose ACM EOTY I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Carrie loses in November at the CMA’s especially since fans can’t vote.

    Has Carrie ever topped the country touring lists? Has Carrie Ever topped the forbes 100 list representing country artists?
    Has Carrie ever had the best selling album 2 years in a row?
    Has carrie ever had 2 songs debut in the top 5 on the hot 100 in a single year?
    Has Carrie ever been Billboard artist of the year.
    Has Carrie ever won Country album grammy
    Has Carrie ever won AOTY grammy.

    Well Taylor’s done all that and still didn’t win ACM EOTY yet you people think Carrie is a shoe in to win CMA EOTY. Only if severe spamming is involved, do I see that happening. Taylor might not repeat her win this year but I do not see Carrie winning simply because she hasn’t faired well this year in awards that haven’t been fan voted either. As mentioned she was shut out herself at the ACM’s I saw a lot of Miranda, Lady A winning the non fan voted awards. I guess that why Carrie’s fans want her to win EOTY so badly because they fear that’s the only one she’s got a shot at.

  14. Willis an when has the CMA’s ever take into consideration who is on Forbes list? yeah NEVER! I am sure half of them don’t even know that!

    Half of the things you talk about DON’T even matter to CMA voters. If past Awards were any consideration than a lot of People would have won different awards.

    I will say Taylor had a good Tour during the year but that isn’t all that comes into winning this award. If that was the case than Carrie would have won last year since she played to over 1.2 million fans in the eligibility period when Taylor had just began her Fearless tour at the end of the voting period.

    Oh an unlimited online voting at the ACM’s??? Well can you Taylor fans tell Carrie’s fans how that was done because last time I checked you had to register to vote and voting was once per IP address and that means one vote per household. Or at least that was all that Carrie fans were allowed to vote. Also when I voted by text message for the ACM’s that night I was only allowed one vote so if you care to share with everybody else how Taylor’s fan seemed to cheat the system it would be appreciated :)

    Part of winning the CMA EOTY is based on momentum of the current time and for the last half of the eligibility Taylor has not been out there in the media as much as Carrie and that will play a much much LARGER role than Forbes does. Also since Lady A has a great chance at winning Single Record, Song and Album of the year at this year grammy’s does that mean they are going to win CMA EOTY next year?

  15. Oh boy.

    I pretty much agree with Kevin’s picks and thoughts. I don’t really know if Carrie or Miranda deserves the win more…I can’t put my finger on that just yet. I will say, though, that the exchange between the two women right after Miranda won FVOTY at the ACMs is one of my favorite moments in country music. Maybe I’m a sap, but seeing such genuine camaraderie makes me very happy.

  16. @Tara Seetharam

    I will say, though, that the exchange between the two women right after Miranda won FVOTY at the ACMs is one of my favorite moments in country music. Maybe I’m a sap, but seeing such genuine camaraderie makes me very happy.
    I’m totally with you on that one Tara. It’s really rare in today’s world of celebrity to witness something like that. I guess I’m a sap too.

  17. @Willis –
    if Carrie was going after a POP audience and remixing her songs for POP like Taylor and Lady A I think her numbers would be even higher than both those acts drawing from POP and country . However due to the fact Carrie refuses to remix her songs for POP radio( which you have to do to be played today )she’s pulling herself out of the race for the bucks – Carrie is working on a song with Craig Morgan for his next album and with Randy Travis for his next album. She has a segment on her tour where the whole stage becomes the Grand Ole Opry stage and a virtual Randy sings I Told You So with her. Her heart is with country music and she’s happy to be there so trying to make Carrie seem less worthy because of $$ is silly, if you don’t cater to POP fans you won’t make those big $$. Carrie by the way has won Billboard Album of the Year and Grammy Best New Artist beating out James Blunt, Corinne Bailey Rae and Chris Brown, she also has ten #1 singles on country radio compared to 4 #1 for Taylor, if you want to call out stats, Carrie’s are pretty impressive. There’s no doubt Taylor had a break out year which won her a slew of awards last year but I think this year the CMA’s are going to award Carrie or Miranda.

  18. The only two that are in the running are Carrie and Miranda, with Reba being the only other close but yet still very far. as for who wins I’m still undecided.

    I think the success of Carrie’s new single Mama’s Song and Miranda’s Only Prettier can sway voter’s cause they should be on the move during the voting period. There are multiple reasons I say this.

    Miranda’s Dead Flower’s (not sure if itis in the eligable period) didn’t fair well with radio (though I liked it). Also it wasn’t her greatest vocals. But The House That Built Me was beautifully written and had the vocals to match. It also spent multiple weeks at the top of the charts. But with her new song that is only really two and a half songs to base voting on. One was “Dead” one was a hit and the other has yet to get a huge push.

    Now for Carrie Undo It does not tak a master vocalist but there are not many artist that can fit words into one breathe and make it sound good. I thought Temporary Home was one of the best radio dispays of her vocals since she JTTW when she was a rookie. Her ability to change range is present in this song and is strong. As for the chart’s it may have only been for one week but both were at the top and timing had a lot to do with why they were only there for one week, she had some good single surrounding her, where Miranda was the only shining one at the time. Her sale are like always…consistant. After taking a year off she manage to come back as strong as she left, so I could easily see her getting the win.

    But I think vocalist wise, these two are the one’s we will be looking at for a few years.

    @ Willis and Kayla the criteria states;

    Female Vocalist of the Year:

    This award is based on individual musical performance on records or in person. Award to artist.

    So all your griping abot Billboard and Forbes and fans and other awards mean nothing. It about vocals and that’s all. So aybe take the bickerring to the EOTY blog.

  19. @up

    that was my whole point of my statement to Willis was that ultimately Forbes and Billboard 100 doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If you read my first post then you would have seen I talked about how beautifully sung The House that Built me was and why I think Miranda will win Female Vocalist.

    and also I seem to believe the author of this article is the one that said that he thought if Carrie recieved the nomination in EOTY category than Miranda would win this award and carrie would win Entertainer and that is why it is being talked about this thread.

    My point wasn’t to start bickering my point was his argument is unrealistic in the grand scheme of voting at the CMA’s.

  20. I’m good with either Carrie or Miranda winning. Both had great years, and both have phenominal talent. I might lean more toward Carrie because I’m just more familiar with her work, but the more I hear of Miranda, the more I come to love her.

    Sadly, the amount of exposure to Miranda Lambert I can get is still limited, because for whatever reason most of the stuff on Youtube is blocked. Stop messing with me, Vevo! Me being in Holland means I can’t actually GET much of Miranda elsewhere without going the illegal route.

    Liking country outside of the US is hard. :(

  21. Miranda for FVOTY! Love my Carrie, but MirLam should take it on the strength of THTBM. I want her to take FVOTY and Carrie for EOTY.

  22. Kevin: Did you watch Carrie’s special on Fox a few years ago?

    No offense, but I just don’t see how anyone could ever offer Carrie Underwood as a serious candidate for an “Entertainer” award after watching that.

  23. Just passing by:

    um ok well this is an award for singing Country Music and seeing as it had 8 million viewers and good reviews from Mainstream media I think that it could be a thing in her favor for EOTY.

    plus you know she sang in key and in tune for the entire show so I don’t see why that would hurt her chances at winning.

  24. Mark me down as a sap too. I have never heard anything but mutual respect from Lambert or Underwood. I hope they both win big at the CMAs.

  25. @Just passing by

    If Carrie’s special aired “a few years ago,” then it likely did not air during the eligibility period for this year’s awards. Thus, it should have no effect on Carrie’s chances of winning.

  26. @Just passing by:

    Perhaps the kind of entertainment you like is a bunch of out of tune rappers trying to sing-talk with a group of half-naked ladies dancing all over the stage to cover their lack of talent?

  27. I would try and make a case for Wilma Lee Cooper but I don’t want the crazed Jean Shepard fanbots to turn this thread into a Wilma Vs. Jean debate. That’s the last thing we need around here.

    Gretchen Wilson may have a shot, still on the strength of ‘Redneck Woman’ though The song got her a nomination at this years ‘Teen Choice Awards’ in the country female category more then 5 years after its release because lets face it, none of the people involved nor teens watching could likley name another of her songs, let alone knew she released anything this year. And its teens running country music these days so it could translate over to the CMA’s.

    Chely Wright could get the ‘we’re OK with you being a lesbian’ votes from the CMA. Sometimes these awards are not about the music. Brooks and Dunn won duo at this years ACM’s for simply announcing their retirement, so why not some industry love for Chely’s announcment. Plus she was the only female in country to make Oprah cry during the eligibilty period and at the end of the day what matters most? sales or making Oprah cry? It’s a rhetorical question.

  28. “I would try and make a case for Wilma Lee Cooper but I don’t want the crazed Jean Shepard fanbots to turn this thread into a Wilma Vs. Jean debate. That’s the last thing we need around here.”

    Let’s be friends.

  29. @Highwayman: wouldn’t it be interesting to see how the crowd reacts if Chely Wright made an appearance as a presenter or was nominated? I’d probably fall out of my chair if she ended up being nominated. And then I would probably applaud the CMAs for about 2 minutes.

    You know, if Wright gets a nomination, the Carrie V. Miranda V. Swift war wouldn’t be as talked about since people would still be trying to figure out how the CMAs could grant Chely with a nomination. If she had more success at radio, then it would be interesting to see how the voters would react (in terms of her being nominated). But if she was having more success, maybe she wouldn’t have come out?

  30. i thinks its miranda vs. carrie for fvoy with miranda winning and

    carrie vs. brad for etoy with either one winning because brads been nominated so many times he might pull out a win but carrie’s never been nominated when she should have been so i guess we’ll have to see. we still dont even know whose really nominated

  31. To a couple comments up above…

    Carrie’s special was aired on December 7, 2009 and re-aired again on December 22 (or 23, I forget), 2009. That’s in the eligibility period for EOTY.

    And regardless as to what you thought of it, the special pulled in over 10 million viewers on December 7 and over 7 million on the date when it was re-aired. That’s a pretty darn big accomplishment, especially with struggling seasonal television shows today.

    So yes, I’m sure the special of her’s will be taken into effect for the EOTY nomination that she should (and better) have.

  32. Never say never and all, but I don’t see Chely at the CMAs this year as a presenter (which is the only way I could conceive of her being there at all, since her sales are simply low). Maybe down the line, but it’d be too big of a public statement to have her on so soon after her coming out.

  33. I figured so. Most country stars/the country music industry aren’t as open as other singes are about their support/non-support towards the gay community.

    I remember on her album review, one of the site writers said how Jamey Johnson signed up for one of her annual charity concerts, and how that was a nice and subtle way of showing support. Just like how Dolly Parton and the Dixie Chicks donated their songs to an album of artists who support gay rights called “Love Rocks.”

    I just wonder how many artists who were performers at Chely’s charity concert that support the gay community.

    I will say I admire her bravery with coming out, and either way (if it was for herself or as a way to garner more attention for her album) I am glad she didn’t hide who she was (now).

  34. I think Miranda is a lock to win female vocalist this year. She’s had the biggest album by a female artist thus far this year, three successful quality singles and solid videos to match.

    She’s also a solid live performer, and writes the majority of her own music- which showcases mature lyrics and fresh melodies, and not the same old stale material every album.

    Although she hasn’t become a big name on the touring curcit, I think all that she has been able to accomplish in under one year is extremely impressive, and enough to give her a deserved victory in this category.

    I think Carrie Underwood is Miranda’s only competetion, but she’s not had the breakout year Miranda has, and she’s continued her run of success without doing anything to give her the edge over the other nominees.

    Reba has had a decent year, but I can’t see her sneaking in a win this year. When comparing her moderate success to that of Miranda, Carrie and Taylor, she doesn’t have a chance of pulling off a victory.

    Taylor has had a low-profile this year, and I don’t think the voters will reward her after so much backlash with the Grammy performance and general complaints of overexposure in 2009. She had the biggest year of any artist in 2009- she deserved Entertainer, but giving her the female vocalist award simply because she happened to be the biggest success story is ridculous.

    Miranda certaintly had the biggest year out of all the nominees, and I don’t think anyone can overtake her.

    Although I’m a huge Carrie fan, I would hesitate to say she should win Entertainer this year, if only for the fact that she keept a low-profile until the release of “Play On”, versus another artist who relied heavily on the mainstream media to represent country music all year round.

    Then again, she did have a successful TV show that pulled in 8 million viewers, served as a solid CMA host, performed at the Superbowl and MJ tribute, spread her wings for an acting gig, and the “Play On” tour, album, and singles from the project have all done extremely well. She could make the case for sales and broadened mainstream media exposure that served the country music community well, with the success of her TV special, CMA hosting and such.

    On top of being a visual representative for country music, she’s one of the most solid live performers in the current landscape of the music industry, and that should definatly help her case for securing a nomination.

    Although Carrie had a solid year, and has certaintly accomplished enough to gain a nomination in the entertainer field, it’s tough to see so many nominees who have had a good year of success- instead of having a clear winner with monster success like that of Taylor in 2009. I’d make a case for Carrie over Keith, Brad, or Miranda, and she does have a good chance of taking this.

  35. On the flip side of fans who vote for ACM EOTY… I’ve seen some of the other nominees on youtube and on award shows but Carrie’s the one who I follow and the only one I will travel across the country to see. I can think through all the pros and cons of all the other nominees but when it comes down to it, Carrie represents the EOTY for me and that’s who I’ll vote for. I don’t think it makes my vote any less valid than anyone else’s.

  36. Just to clarify, I don’t mean to imply that anyone who voted Carrie as Entertainer of the Year doesn’t think. But I do suspect that there are a lot of fans who would vote for their favorite artist every year with little thought over how much that artist really accomplished during the eligibility period.

  37. @Ben Foster
    But I do suspect that there are a lot of fans who would vote for their favorite artist every year with little thought over how much that artist really accomplished during the eligibility period.

    You’re probably right. But that’s what fans do. I’m not really a fan of making these top awards fan voted, but then again, looking at the deserving ladies in the past who never stood a chance at the top award with industry voters…. I wish there was some way to reach a middle ground.

  38. I’m not a huge fan of the fan-voting for the ACM, but the CMA has a different problem. There’s a ton of block voting going on which has a bigger impact on the results than it did a few years ago, thanks to all of that industry consolidation.

    I don’t know how often it makes the difference in the actual winners, but it definitely impacts the final CMA nominees. I think the Grammys tend to get the closest to being a genuine reward for music, simply because of the criteria required to be a voter. But it’s not like musicians don’t have agendas, too.

    Award shows are very entertaining and it’s always cool to see who is nominated and who wins. But they’re never going to be without bias, in some form or another. How can you make an objective standard for art anyway?

  39. How does the ACM Entertainer of the Year voting work, by the way? Is it fully fan-voted, or split between fans and the ACM itself? The information I found on it has been quite conflicting.

    If it’s fully fan-voted, consider me baffled that Carrie Underwood beat out Taylor Swift. Yeah, Carrie’s fans are a group of dedicated little voters, but so are Taylor’s. The teen crowd, at least, seems to be fully on Taylor’s side (seeing as Carrie was pretty much shut out at the Teen Choice Awards).

  40. Ben Foster…..you are an …! Never mind! No comment on you either. Just not worth the trouble on you or Taylor. One thing though..DUH, on your last comment.

  41. How does the ACM Entertainer of the Year voting work, by the way? Is it fully fan-voted, or split between fans and the ACM itself? The information I found on it has been quite conflicting.

    It’s some combination of fan and industry votes, but I’ve never seen any documentation of to what extent it’s split. I’m with you on Carrie’s EOTY win; I don’t think she would have won had the industry votes not been a factor, but that’s just my opinion.

  42. “Award shows are very entertaining and it’s always cool to see who is nominated and who wins. But they’re never going to be without bias, in some form or another.”

    This is really important to keep in mind, wherever your allegiances lie. Honestly, when history is written, awards and statistics tend to seem more like decoration than definition. I don’t know every award Elvis won while he was alive, or since his passing; I just know “Suspicious Minds” and “Jailhouse Rock”. Great music is what makes great legacies. If the industry happens to validate great music, that’s just icing.

  43. The ACMs are partially fan-voted and partially ACM industry voted. This was announced back when they changed the system in 2009 when Carrie won for the first time.

    And to the ACM/Teen Choice comment — the ACMs are valid. The Teen Choice Awards are completely invalid and meaningless. Carrie was shut out because Taylor appeals to the tween crowd more than Carrie does. At the end of the Teen Choice Awards telecasts every year, they post a big message that basically sums up to this:
    “The producers and writers of the Teen Choice Awards may pick the winner of each category from the Top 4 vote-getters if displeased by the selected winner.” That’s not the message word for word; it’s just a summary of what they’re saying.
    The TCAs basically pull every winner out of their behinds. For all we know, Gretchen Wilson and Zac Brown Band could’ve been the big winners. We’ll never know. The only thing that is out there is that Taylor Swift won four TCAs, and they could’ve easily been invalid wins.

  44. Carrie will win female Vocalist of the year. Some facts stated above are incorrect when comparing Carrie and Miranda this past year. I do agree they are the only two in contention.

    Album Sales – Carrie Underwood – Play On – 1.7 million sales. Miranda Lambert – Revolution – 850,000 sales. Miranda’s album was also released a mont before Carrie’s.

    Chart Success – Carrie has had all three singles released so far reach #1 on both Billboard and Mediabase charts. Miranda’s first single Dead Flowers failed to reach the top 25 on either chart. Her second single White liar reached 31 on Mediabase but not on Billboard chart. She finally had her third single reach #1 on both charts.

    Bottom line is Carrie Underwood has had a much more successful year. The only way Miranda wins is if voters decide to give to someone else and reward Miranda for having her best year to date.

  45. Taylor Swift has zero chance of winning any awards. Her last couple singles have failed to reach #1 on the country charts and she was shut out at both of the last two major awards shows – the ACM’s and the CMA’s. She finally had success at the Teen Choice awards but who cares as we know just about her entire fan base is teens.

    Carrie Underwood has a much bigger fan base in country music. That is why she wins all of the fan voted country awards such as the EOTY at the ACM awards. Taylor’s fan base is at least half pop fans that never listen to country music. This is also the reason that Carrie’s videos are consistently #1 on both CMT and GAC over every other artist.

    Carrie has the biggest fan base .in country music, period!

  46. Her second single White liar reached 31 on Mediabase but not on Billboard chart.

    “White Liar” charted at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, and made it all the way to #38 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    There’s no denying that Carrie had more overall success with the single releases from “Play On”, but that doesn’t diminish Miranda’s growing popularity on country radio. I’m fairly sure that “The House That Built Me” had more weeks at #1 than Carrie’s three singles combined (which held it for 1 week each).

  47. I agree with Pete. I think THTBM had a bigger impact than either TH or UI, however I feel like CC was a pretty huge single even with only getting 1 week at the penthouse. It has, after all, sold 1.5 million copies.

  48. Something to remember though, is that Cowboy Casanova was a pretty big crossover hit, charting as high as #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Carrie Underwood has far more crossover appeal and pop-popularity than Miranda, so it’s no surprise her singles (and album) sell more.

    I guess that still makes Carrie the biggest ‘ambassador’ for country music besides Taylor Swift (whose country affinity is ambiguous at best right now), but when looking purely at country music, doesn’t put Carrie ahead of Milam.

  49. Carrie and Miranda have both had a successful year, but Miranda’s music has been of higher quality than Carrie’s. “The House That Built Me” (which I would consider a shoo-in for Single/Song of the Year) was far more memorable than anything Carrie has had out this year, and it did spend more weeks at number one than all of Carrie’s hits from the past year put together. “White Liar” and “Only Prettier” have also been of a high standard. So I’m still pulling for Miranda.

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