2020 has been one for the books. A summer without country concerts!? Talk about BRUTAL. But at least we’re getting an injection of country music tonight with the 55th Annual ACM Awards. Normally, on this night, we’d be at Loretta’s with a bunch of our friends watching the awards and giving away incredible prizes while raising a ton of money for Boston Children’s Hospital. But nope, not this year. We’ll be watching the awards from our couch just like everyone else. So let’s do some predictions. Below is who we think will win, who we’d vote for and a hot take for each major award category.
Entertainer of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Carrie Underwood
Who We Would Vote For: Eric Church
Hot Take: Obviously, there was much debate late last year with another country awards show when it came to Entertainer of the Year and Carrie and another country icon. Do we think some of that may impact this award? Maybe. But ultimately, Carrie is absolutely deserving of this award. If I had a vote, I’d throw it in the Chief’s hat as was blown away by his tour last year playing several hours at each stop all by himself with no opener. But we also wouldn’t be surprised if Combs stole this award… everything he touches seems to turn to gold.
Male Artist of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Luke Combs
Who We Would Vote For: Luke Combs
Hot Take: With all due respect to the other artists nominated, no male artist had a bigger year than Luke. This should be his award by a mile.
Female Artist of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Carrie Underwood
Who We Would Vote For: Carrie Underwood
Hot Take: We love all of these ladies nominated but Carrie is in a league of her own. She’s the biggest female superstar in country music and had an incredible year. This should be Carrie’s award for the taking.
Duo of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Dan + Shay
Who We Would Vote For: Brothers Osborne
Hot Take: D+S has shot to superstardom and deservingly so. They absolutely crush it on the road and in the studio with incredible music that drives sold out crowds to their shows. And let’s not forget that they are at that large arena level these days! Love D+S, but I’d vote for BROS here as they do not get the credit they deserve- two of the best musicians and artists in the genre.
Group of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Old Dominion
Who We Would Vote For: Old Dominion
Hot Take: If you know us here at NECM, you know we love OD! We’ve been working with them for years before they had the success they’re having now- legit, we were there when they were getting their own drinks at the bar at House of Blues after their opening set on the Chase Rice tour many years ago. They’re the hottest band in country music with smash hits and a rabid fanbase. This award should be theirs for years to come.
New Female Artist of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Tenille Townes
Who We Would Vote For: Lindsay Ell
Hot Take: OK, OK. We cheated here as we know Tenille won the award as it was announced a few weeks ago. So happy for Tenille but we would’ve given the nod to Lindsay as this girl is one of the hardest working artists in country music. Literally, on the road pretty much every day (pre-COVID). Would have loved for Lindsay to get the recognition she so deserves with this award.
New Male Artist of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Riley Green
Who We Would Vote For: Riley Green
Hot Take: Yes, we cheated again. Riley has already won this award and we’re glad he did. He deserved it! But we think this is probably the award that was closest in the voting categories. This category is STACKED. All of these guys could make a case for winning. Can we just give them all a trophy?
Album of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: ‘What You See is What You Get’ – Luke Combs
Who We Would Vote For: ‘What You See is What You Get’ – Luke Combs
Hot Take: All of the nominated albums are fantastic projects but WYSIWYG is next level stuff. Platinum certified, Number One album, four Number One singles. Going to be tough to beat. Combs for the W.
Single of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: ‘Rainbow’ – Kacey Musgraves
Who We Would Vote For: ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
Hot Take: Never count out Kacey Musgraves. NEVER. Way too talented and constantly putting out fantastic music.
Song of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: ‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere’ – Ashley McBryde
Who We Would Vote For: ‘One Man Band’ – Old Dominion
Hot Take: L-O-V-E Ashley McBryde and love this song. With this category, it’s award for the songwriting and this song is absolutely beautiful. Really hoping Ashley is nominated again next year for ‘One Night Standards.’We think she takes the trophy tonight.
Video of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: ‘Remember You Young’ – Thomas Rhett
Who We Would Vote For: ‘Remember You Young’ – Thomas Rhett
Hot Take: OK. I can’t pretend that I watch music videos- I don’t. I have no idea what videos are good. But luckily, TR has already won this award so let’s just pretend I predicted it correctly!
Music Event of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: ‘Fooled Around and Fell In Love’ – Miranda Lambert featuring Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack and Elle King
Who We Would Vote For: ‘Fooled Around and Fell In Love’ – Miranda Lambert featuring Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack and Elle King
Hot Take: This category is always a wild card. But hey, it’s already been announced that Miranda and friends won which is great to see! Just glad that ‘Old Town Road’ didn’t win as we still can’t get behind that song- sorry.
Songwriter of the Year
Who We Think Will Win: Hillary Lindsey
Who We Would Vote For: Shane MacAnally
Hot Take: Congrats to Hillary as she’s already won this award. But I would’ve voted for Shane. He’s my personal favorite songwriter and will always have my vote for whatever award.