2022 CMA Awards: Country Universe Dream Ballot

Earlier this month, the second ballot nominees were announced for the 56th Annual Country Music Association Awards.  Six of our staff writers voted for up to five nominees in each category, and we are proud to share our dream ballot for this year’s ceremony!

To receive a nomination, at least two writers must have voted for each potential nominee.  Because of this requirement, there are only three nominees for both Vocal Duo and Vocal Group of the Year.  Because of a tie, there are six nominees in the Single of the Year category.

Chris Stapleton leads the ballot with six nominations, followed by Kane Brown, Ashley McBryde, and Carly Pearce with five nominations each.  Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift earned four nominations; Midland and Lainey Wilson earned three.

Eric Church, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, and Carrie Underwood received two nominations each.

Thanks to Jonathan Keefe for organizing the ballot, and for voting alongside fellow writers Kevin John Coyne, Michelle Ivey, Zack Kephart, Tara Seetharam, and Leeann Ward.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

2022 CMA Awards: The Country Universe Dream Ballot

Entertainer of the Year

Kane Brown

Luke Combs

Miranda Lambert 

Chris Stapleton

Carrie Underwood 

 

Album of the Year

American Heartbreak

Zach Bryan

Humble Quest

Maren Morris

Palomino

Miranda Lambert

Remember Her Name

Mickey Guyton

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’

 Lainey Wilson

Single of the Year

“Damn Strait”

Scotty McCreery

“Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”

Elle King & Miranda Lambert

“Heart on Fire”

Eric Church

“Like I Love Country Music”

Kane Brown

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”

Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde

“You Should Probably Leave”

Chris Stapleton

Song of the Year

“Damn Strait”

Jim Collins and Trent Tomlinson

“I Bet You Think About Me”

Lori McKenna and Taylor Swift 

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”

Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde, and Carly Pearce

“Things a Man Oughta Know”

Jason Nix, Jonathan Singleton, and Lainey Wilson

“You Should Probably Leave”

Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, and Chris Stapleton 

Female Vocalist of the Year

Mickey Guyton

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Carly Pearce

Taylor Swift

Male Vocalist of the Year

Kane Brown

Eric Church

Luke Combs

Cody Johnson

Chris Stapleton

Vocal Group of the Year

The Chicks

Flatland Cavalry

Midland

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brothers Osborne

Maddie & Tae

The War and Treaty

New Artist of the Year

Breland

Cody Johnson

Elvie Shane

Morgan Wade

Lainey Wilson

Musician of the Year

 

Jenee Fleenor, fiddle

Paul Franklin, steel guitar

Adam Shoenfeld, guitar

Ilya Toshinskiy, guitar

Derek Wells, guitar

Musical Event of the Year

“Blessed & Free”

Kane Brown & H.E.R.

“Freedom Was a Highway”

Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley

“I Bet You Think About Me”

Taylor Swift featuring Chris Stapleton

“Longneck Way to Go”

Midland featuring Jon Pardi

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”

Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde

Music Video of the Year

“Ghost Story”

Carrie Underwood 

“I Bet You Think About Me”

Taylor Swift featuring Chris Stapleton

“Like I Love Country Music”

Kane Brown 

“Longneck Way to Go”

Midland featuring Jon Pardi

“Never Wanted to Be That Girl”

Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde

ARTISTS WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS

6 – Chris Stapleton

5 – Kane Brown, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce

4 – Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift

3 – Midland, Lainey Wilson

2 – Eric Church, Luke Combs, Mickey Guyton, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi,,Carrie Underwood 

  

6 Comments

  1. …much love for lainey wilson and her material around here. but hasn’t all of her output been released before this year’s eligibility period? still, a valid candidate for “new artist of the year”, i guess.

    • I think the eligibility period runs from July – June? I know they changed it in the mid-nineties and it resulted in an Alan Jackson album being nominated two years in a row.

      All I care about is Kane Brown getting some long overdue recognition!

  2. Wilson’s album was officially released in February 2021, but the eligibility criteria for that category include some nebulous language about the year when the album gained prominence, and the bulk of its sales have occurred during the current eligibility year. Singles-wise, both the duet with Cole Swindell and her solo “Heart Like a Truck” were released during the eligibility period. So I don’t think there’s anything super questionable about her potential nominations this year.

    • …i wouldn’t go as far as “super questionable”, but questionable it is. rather surprisingly her album “sayin’ what i’m thinking” was not nominated last year, when it would have been egligible beyond any doubt. at the time, i thought that i obviously had not been the only one who wasn’t completely sold on it. when it comes to the singles “never say never” (with cole swindell) and “heart like a truck” – the first one, although a #1, is really nothing to write home about and the latter one makes dylan scott’s “new truck” almost sound like potential grammy winner. can’t help but feeling that lainey wilson’s output so far this year was rather a step backward than forward and not worth a cma nomination. all in all however, a possible cma “new artist of the year” award for her would not be an undeserved one, given her progress and overall performance in the last couple of years. on top of that it surely would be a most welcome push for her new album “bell bottom country” that will be released on october 28. what a smart timing, ain’t it.

  3. I can fully get behind “Humble Quest” as album of the year. Morris did something unexpectedly quiet and special at the crossroads of country and pop with this album. I find myself repeatedly listening to it lately and being rewarded with each one. It just feels like a real album by an artist who is equal parts confident and uncertain about many things in life. There is an honesty to the album I am increasingly appreciating.

    1
  4. …it should not come as a real surprise since the guy has had a #1 every year since 2017. however, scotty mccreery’s homage to george strait packed in a break-up song, or vice versa, is one of these tunes that just grow on you over time because it sounds so good on the radio. tough choices to be made among the singles and songs this time round given ashley mcbryde’s and carly pearce’s masterpiece and the fact that cody johnson’s “till you can’t” is most likely to win one of these categories. again, chris stapleton and lainey wilson’s great contributions seem to be not eligible having been released before july 1, 2021.

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