Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the 46th Annual CMA awards on Thursday, November 1. The CMAs are the cream of the crop in an overloaded country music award circle. CMAs hold more weight than an ACM, and certainly hold more weight than the gimmicky ACAs and CMT awards. Every year there are shocks and snubs, and I'm sure this year will be no different. Without further ado, here is your official Keep It Country Kids CMA preview.
Musician of The Year
Who Should Win: Sam Bush. His mandolin playing is second to none, and he is well deserving of this award.
Who Will Win: This is always a tough one to call, but my gut says Dan Huff, as he has had his hand in a ton of big sellers this year.
Music Video of The Year
Springsteen- Eric Church
Come Over- Kenny Chesney
Over You- Miranda Lambert
Pontoon- Little Big Town
Red Solo Cup- Toby Keith
Who Should Win: Probably Miranda; "Over You" was a poignant video for a touching song. None of these stood out as award winning to me. "Springsteen" is the next strongest song, but nothing about the video was groundbreaking to me.
Who Will Win: Miranda Lambert. She is a CMA darling and has the strongest video of the group. The only one with no real shot is Toby Keith. He despises corporate award shows and plans on skipping this one. If he does win, I'll be shocked.
Musical Event of The Year
Dixie Highway- Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band
Feel Like A Rockstar- Kenny Chensey and Tim McGraw
Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die- Willie Nelson feat. Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, and Jamey Johnson
Safe & Sound- Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars
Stuck On You- Darius Rucker & Lionel Richie
Who Should win- Willie. No contest. Alan and Zac's song is great, but had no commercial success. Tim & Kenny released the musical equivalent of a midlife crisis. Taylor's song is strong, I would be ok with this one winning. If Lionel Richie wins a CMA I will throw my TV out the window and slaughter a kitten.
Who Will win: Willie. They have a tribute to Willie planned at the show. Snopp Dogg (errr Lion?) wins a CMA. The story lines are too good to pass up. Taylor has a shot, but this is solid for Willie. Don't let Lionel win, CMA. Think of the kittens....
Single Of The Year
Dirt Road Anthem- Jason Aldean
God Gave Me You- Blake Shelton
Home- Dierks Bentley
Pontoon- Little Big Town
Springsteen- Eric Church
Who Should Win: I think "Home" is the best song of this bunch, but its hard to argue that the biggest radio song of the year belonged to Jason Aldean. "Dirt Road Anthem" was a huge, multi-week number one. "Springsteen" is deserving as well, but wont win....
Who Will Win: Because Jason Aldean will. And whether or not you love or hate the song, no one can deny the huge hit that it was. Should be the closest to a lock for the night.
Song of The Year
Even If It Breaks Your Heart- written by Will Hoge & Eric Paslay, performed by The Eli Young Band
God Gave Me You- written by Dave Barnes, performed by Blake Shelton
Home- written by Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Dan Wilson, performed by Dierks Bentley
Over You- written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, performed by Miranda Lambert
Springsteen- written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, and Ryan Tyndell, performed by Eric Church
Who Should Win: This is my favorite category. The writers get the credit, some of Nashville's unsung heroes. This is a good group. "Home" is my personal favorite, and being an election year and all, could be a solid choice. Of course Miranda and Blake's tribute to Blake's brother is a great song as well, and Will Hoge getting a CMA would be a huge win for the little guy. I'm going with Dierks though.
Who Will Win: "Home". I think the bipartisan patriotic anthem surprised in the election year. "Over You" is the popular pick here, but I am going with the upset. I think "God Gave Me You" is the only one that would truly shock me however.
Album of the Year
Tailgates and Tanlines- Luke Bryan
Chief- Eric Church
Four The Record- Miranda Lambert
Own The Night- Lady Antebellum
Home- Dierks Bentley
Who Should win: Chief. Hands down. I love that album; it's produced 3 number one hits, with a fourth on its way up, and it propelled Eric to super-stardom. Four The Record is good, Home is strong, but Chief is the favorite here. How does Lady A get in this category? Their album was the musical version of a giant yawn. The critically acclaimed 100 Proof by Kellie Pickler would have been a much stronger choice, I would have given it a shot to win. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Who Will Win: Eric Church. This would be a major win for a guy who claims he hates making albums. This is one of the strongest pure mainstream albums in years, it should be an easy choice. Don't count Miranda out though, or even the sleeper Luke Bryan (lets hope he doesn't win, he will run out of camo boxers to throw to the crowd.)
New Artist of the Year
Love & Theft
Who Should Win: Lee Brice. He has two albums and multiple hits, but he qualifies as new, so he should be the favorite. "A Woman Like You" was a huge hit, and "Hard To Love" is climbing. Counting past work, "Love Like Crazy" was a huge hit, and well written song. Gotta go with Lee here.
Who Will win: Hunter Hayes. "Wanted" just hit number one, he is riding the momentum, and he's sooooooo dreamy! He will be, like, the. biggest. star. ever. Like ever. OMG! YAY! (Ok, he IS talented. He plays a lot of instruments, Good for him, My dog is talented. He does lots of tricks. Neither need a reward.)
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Love & Theft
The Civil Wars
Who Should Win: I dunno. Big & Rich. Look, Big & Rich had one hit and a top 10 album. Love & Theft had one hit and a top 10 album. Thompson Square had one hit (this year) and no album (this year) The Civil Wars put out the best quality music, but who thinks they win a CMA? They Should, but they probably wont. Sugarland had a tour, no hits and no album. Why are they nominated? Who knows. Civil Wars get my should win.
Who Will Win: No clue. Biggest toss up of the night. None of these acts had a huge year. Thompson Square has some staying power, but did they have the best year? Big & Rich are back with a solid hit and a whole new album. Love and Theft are cute and dreamy, and have a song about hot girls in trucks on their album (seriously. That's pretty much the title.) I'll say Big & Rich wins. Not set in stone though.
Vocal Group of the Year
Zac Brown Band
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
Who Should Win: Zac Brown. A huge album, multiple hits, just another ho hum year for Zac and the boys. They are the most underrated mainstream act today. The need to finally win one. This is a strong group this year, but they deserve it most. Eli Young get the runner up nod from me. Two huge number ones will do that for ya.
Who Will Win: Lady Antebellum. And its pathetic. They had the most yawn inducing music, but somehow, people still buy it. "Need You Now" feels like decades ago. They need to fix the route they are on. If they do somehow lose, I'll be proud that the CMA wont reward mediocrity. They are talented, but they need to right the ship for me to take them seriously again. Shout-out to Eli Young Band again as the upset special in this category.
Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelly Clarkson (seriously)
Who Should Win: Sure as hell not Kelly Clarkson. Look, she is a bright spot in a dark dark pop world. I like her music a lot, she is very talented and seems like a great person. But she ain't worthy of this nomination. Kellie Pickler had a critically acclaimed album. Jana Kramer hit number one. They deserve this nomination. Miranda should win this, she had a great solo year, and the Pistol Annies put out a killer album.
Who Will Win: Carrie Underwood. She had two big hits, neither of them a lick of country, and a big album (her worst yet, in my opinion) but she is back so she will get rewarded. I hope I'm wrong, but Carrie will probably knock Miranda off the top this year. I think Red came out too late for Taylor to win, but look out next year! If she isn't fully pop by that point.
Male Vocalist of the Year
Who Should win: Eric Church made the biggest leap, barely nominated last year to the leading nominee this year. I think he is fully deserving of the top spot, after a number one album and three chart topping singles. All have a legit shock, with the exception of Keith maybe. If Lukey Luke wins album and throws his boxers, what will he throw here if he wins both? (Don't answer that...)
Who Will Win: Jason Aldean. Maybe. I say if he loses this, he is Entertainer of the year. If he wins, maybe not. I don't see him getting both.though. Put the Chief as my second slot.
Entertainer of the Year
Who Should Win: Blake Shelton. Blake has had some mediocre songs this year, I will admit. But with a headlining tour, multiple hits, his hilarious Twitter, and his hit show The Voice, who has entertained us more this year? Blake has officially taken the next step, and should win this award.
Who Will win. Hmmm. IF the Chief (or anyone not named Jason) wins male vocalist, Aldean wins here. He won't get shut out. If Aldean wins male vocalist, Blake wins here. Never count Taylor out, but I do think Red is too late in the cycle to play a factor. Kenny and Brad don't seem to have a shot here.
So, am I right? Wrong? Genius? Moron? Tell Me! Who are your picks? Don't forget to watch the CMAs on November 1, and KEEP IT COUNTRY KIDS!!!