Tag Archives: CMA Awards

My CMA Entertainer of the Year Would Be…

Tonight is the 2019 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. While there are a bunch of different awards being given out, the most talked about award has to be that of Entertainer of the Year. Maybe it’s because the field is strong. Maybe it’s because last year there was not a single female nominated and this year, Carrie Underwood is nominated- deservingly so. She’s a rockstar. The other nominees are Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. Frankly, I am surprised Thomas Rhett wasn’t at least nominated.

Now I don’t have a vote in these awards. But if I did, chances are I would have given my vote to Carrie Underwood. She balances family and a nonstop road life playing for thousands of fans every week. She also is the face of Sunday Night Football and so much more. Like I said before… rockstar.

But here’s the thing- I didn’t get to see Carrie’s show on her 2019 tour. But who did I see on tour this year? And pretty recently… Eric Church. Got to see his show at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, NH. This wasn’t my first time seeing the Chief live. I saw him a few years ago at the TD Garden when Chris Stapleton opened for him. But after seeing this show, I had no doubt in my mind. Eric Church is the freakin’ Entertainer of the Year.

This was a night of 3 hours of live music from Eric- BY HIMSELF. No opener. Sure, there was a 20 minute intermission in the middle. So 2 hours and 40 minutes. There was no grand pyrotechnics. Just Eric, his guitar and his phenomenal band. Hit after hit after hit being played. Fans singing back every word to him. He captivated the crowd as he made his rounds around his ‘O’ shaped stage, shaking hands, signing boots, even giving his glasses to a young fan in the crowd before making his way back to the stage through the crowd. How many artists out there can say they have played three hours of music by themselves with no opener? Not many. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this as he played solo on his Holdin’ My Own Tour.

While this second leg of the Double Down Tour was just one night in the respective cities, the first leg was 2 nights in each city including Boston, Philadelphia and Nashville among others. Each show being different- two separate and unique setlists. And the Nashville shows were at none other than Nissan Stadium. Yes, Eric Church sold out TWO shows in a football stadium BY HIMSELF.

So I apologize to the other nominees. Actually, I don’t. Y’all have arguments to deserve this award but for me, the Entertainer of the Year is Eric Church. He’s been nominated twice for this award, in 2015 and 2017. And didn’t win either time. It’s time for Eric Church to get the damn recognition he deserves.

Your Guide To The 53rd Annual CMA Awards

With the weather getting cooler it means that awards show season is almost here! The 53rd annual CMA Awards will air live on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday November 13th at 8pm. In an effort to honor more women in country music, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire will serve as guest co-hosts alongside longtime host Carrie Underwood, who is returning for her 11th year in a row. The CMA’s are always a fun night full of amazing performances, must-see collaborations, and special moments. Currently in the midst of a career year, Maren Morris could be in store for a big night after receiving the most nominations with 6.

Check out the complete list of nominations as well as our predictions for who will win below.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Garth Brooks
  • Eric Church
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

Prediction: Garth Brooks – In the middle of his record-breaking three year stadium tour Garth has already played to over 750,000 fans this year, needing only 12 shows to accomplish this feat. Look for him to take home his 7th Entertainer of the Year award in this closely contested category.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Prediction: Thomas Rhett – Thomas Rhett has had a huge year. Not only did he headline his first amphitheater tour this summer, but he also released his fourth album, and had two #1 singles with a third currently climbing the charts.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

Prediction: Maren Morris – In what will probably be the most highly contested category, we’re giving a slight edge to Maren Morris. Very deserving of the honor, if Maren wins she’ll be the first woman other than Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert to win since 2009.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band

Prediction: Old Dominion – Old Dominion have solidified themselves as one of the top groups in country music, which is why they have a great chance to be repeat winners in this category.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Prediction: Dan + Shay – After being snubbed in 2018, this is finally the year that Dan + Shay will win Duo of the Year at the CMA’s. They followed up the success of their smash hit ‘Tequila’ with two more #1 singles (‘Speechless’ and ‘All To Myself’) and a headlining tour earlier this year.

New Artist of the Year

  • Cody Johnson
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Midland
  • Carly Pearce
  • Morgan Wallen

Prediction: Ashley McBryde – You can make a strong case for all of these artists, but ultimately we think that it will come down to either Ashley McBryde or Morgan Wallen. Ashley McBryde is looking to follow up her win at the ACM Awards for New Female Artist of the Year with a win at the CMA’s.

Album of the Year

  • ‘Center Point Road’ – Thomas Rhett
    • Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson
  • ‘Cry Pretty’ – Carrie Underwood
    • Producers: David Garcia, Jim Jonsin, Carrie Underwood
  • Dan + Shay’ – Dan + Shay
    • Producers: Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers
  • ‘Desperate Man’ – Eric Church
    • Producers: Jay Joyce, Arturo Buenahora Jr.
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin

Prediction: ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris has herself a winner with this gem of an album. We can’t get enough of it. Every song is fantastic.

Single of the Year

  • ‘Burning Man’ – Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
    • Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Arturo Buenahora, Jr.
    • Mix Engineer: F. Reid Shippen
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Producer: Greg Kurstin
    • Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin
  • ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
    • Producer: Scott Hendricks
    • Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank
  • ‘Millionaire’ – Chris Stapleton
    • Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    • Mix Engineer: Vance Powell
  • ‘Speechless’ – Dan + Shay
    • Producers:  Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks
    • Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

Prediction: ‘God’s Country’ – Arguably the biggest country song of 2019, ‘God’s Country’ reached #1 on the charts in July.

Song of the Year

  • ‘Beautiful Crazy’ – Luke Combs
    • Writers: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Writers: Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin
  • ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
    • Writers: Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy
  • ‘Rainbow’ – Kacey Musgraves
    • Writers: Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves
  • ‘Tequila’ – Dan + Shay
    • Writers: Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds

Prediction: ‘Girl’ – This category is full of incredible songs. On a night when country music is putting an emphasis on celebrating women, it would only be fitting if the inspirational power anthem ‘Girl’ won the award for Song of the Year.

Musical Event of the Year

  • ‘All My Favorite People’ – Maren Morris feat. Brothers Osborne
    • Producers: Maren Morris, busbee
  • ‘Brand New Man’ – Brooks & Dunn (with Luke Combs)
    • Producer: Dann Huff
  • ‘Dive Bar’ – Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton
    • Producer: Garth Brooks
  • ‘Old Town Road (remix)’ – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
    • Producers: YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross
  • ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ – Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell
    • Producer: Dann Huff

Prediction: ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ – This collaboration from some of our favorite country rockers is a massive hit. We would love to see Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell take home the award for Musical Event of the Year.

Music Video of the Year

  • ‘Burning Man’ – Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
    • Director: Wes Edwards
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Director: Dave Meyers
  • ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
    • Director: Sophie Muller
  • ‘Rainbow’ – Kacey Musgraves
    • Director: Hannah Lux Davis
  • ‘Some Of It’ – Eric Church
    • Director: Reid Long

Prediction: ‘God’s Country’ – Filmed in Blake Shelton’s hometown of Tishomingo, OK the video for ‘God’s Country’ features footage of farmers during the Dust Bowl intertwined with the modern day landscape. This concept perfectly captures the essence of the song. It leads all of the nominees with over 60 million views on YouTube.

Musician of the Year

  • Jenee Fleenor
  • Paul Franklin
  • Mac McAnally
  • Ilya Toshinsky
  • Derek Wells

Prediction: Mac McAnally – With the exception of 2016, Mac McAnally has won this award every year since 2008.

Congratulations to all of the well-deserving nominees!