2017 ACM Awards Picks and Predictions

Welcome, once again, to The Shotgun Seat’s ACM picks and predictions! We had some of our writers pick who they feel will, and should win the various awards of the evening. The show airs tonight at 8/7c. Enjoy the post, and the show folks!

Entertainer of the Year

Should Win:

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan – Corey Adams
Florida Georgia Line
Carrie Underwood – Markus Meyer, Christina Bosch
Keith Urban – Lydia Simonetti

Will Win:

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan – Markus Meyer, Corey Adams, Christina Bosch, Lydia Simonetti
Florida Georgia Line
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

Markus: Honestly, not super high on any of these nominees, though I liked Aldean’s album, some of FGL’s, and Underwood’s singles. They’ll almost certainly play this safe and go with Bryan. Fairly predictable category.

Corey: Hard to believe Luke Bryan went 0-2 in this category last year. After Aldean and Garth Brooks grabbed the biggest prize at the ACMs and CMAs, respectively, last year, it’s Bryan’s year to regain the top spot after another phenomenal 2016 tour.

Christina: With an incredible tour and great performances throughout the year, I think Carrie Underwood really deserves the title this year however Luke Bryan will probably take the biggest award of the night home.

Lydia: Pretty confident that Luke Bryan will win it and he does put on a hell of a show, I’d love to see Keith Urban win though.  He gives his all at his live shows and is such an extraordinarily talented guitar player, he’s a definite contender in my book.

 

 

Female Vocalist of the Year

Should Win:

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert – MM, LS, CB
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood – CA

Will Win:

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert – MM, LS, CB
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood – CA

Markus: Write this one down in the history books: Miranda will finally win one of these things, and legitimately, wholeheartedly, be the most deserving candidate. Haven’t been able to say that in a while, but her latest album is tremendous stuff.

Corey: Hard to bet against someone like Lambert who has seven consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year wins at the ACM Awards. However, it’s criminal Carrie hasn’t won in this category, and after the biggest tour of her career, plus her widely popular singles which dominated country radio, she’s destined to edge Miranda here. Her win at the CMAs last year is another reason to believe she will.

Christina: I believe it is a true toss up between Carrie and Miranda for this one.  But ultimately I think that Miranda will win.

Lydia: Agree with Markus, her latest album was so all encompassing in terms of the variety of tracks on it.  I for one was blown away by the honesty in almost every song on it.  

 

Male Vocalist of the Year

Should Win:

Jason Aldean – CB
Dierks Bentley
Thomas Rhett – CA
Chris Stapleton – MM
Keith Urban- LS

Will Win:

Jason Aldean – CB
Dierks Bentley
Thomas Rhett – LS
Chris Stapleton – MM
Keith Urban – CA

Markus: Another pretty weak category. Bentley and Urban gave us career worst material. Rhett gave us “Vacation”. Aldean would be a fine winner, as would Stapleton, and I assume it will be one of those two.

Corey: This one is challenging. Stapleton has won three Male Vocalist awards in a row dating back to the 2016 CMAs, but it feels like the hype from his three-peat in 2015-16 has quieted just a bit. The Academy has favored Aldean in the past before Stapleton broke through, and to disagree with Markus, I thought Urban had a really great year with several chart toppers. Don’t overlook Rhett either. He’s built a lot of momentum after a huge year which resulted in his first headlining tour and a handful of No. 1 songs.

Christina: Although Dierks, Aldean and Keith had new albums I think Aldean’s was the best of the bunch.

Lydia: Thomas Rhett had such a successful year commercially I think he’ll pull this one out although I’d love to see Keith Urban win it.  

 

Vocal Group of the Year

Should Win:

Eli Young Band
Little Big Town – MM, CA, CB, LS
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Lady Antebellum

Will Win:

Eli Young Band
Little Big Town – MM, CA, CB, LS
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Lady Antebellum

Markus: Meh. This is becoming more uneventful than Duo of the Year. Hopefully we’ll see some more competition in the next few years, though  Little Big Town gave us some solid stuff this year.

Corey: This is a no-brainer. Little Big Town will win their third-straight ACM group award, their second big milestone of 2017 after the widely popular release of The Breaker.

Christina: I agree with Markus, it seems it is the same contenders and winners every year. However I love The Breaker and how Little Big Town always reinvent themselves to maintain relevance.

Lydia: If Little Big Town doesn’t win this I will be completely floored.  Not sure how you can compare any of the others in this category this year to the success of LBT right now.

 

Vocal Duo of the Year

Should Win:

Big & Rich
Brothers Osborne – CB, LS
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line – MM, CA
Maddie & Tae

Will Win:

Big & Rich
Brothers Osborne – CB
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line – MM, CA, LS
Maddie & Tae

Markus: This will probably be a Florida Georgia Line win, but don’t rule out a Brothers Osborne upset again I suppose.

Corey: A huge year by FGL should help them return to their roots of being top duo following Brothers Osborne’s win at the CMAs.

Christina: I might be hoping for a long shot but for anyone who follows my trends, you know my love for Brothers Osborne. Two years in a row they were nominated for Grammy awards and I would love to see them take this one from FGL.

Lydia: While Brothers Osborne is the clear “Should Win” for me, I think it goes to FGL. (sidenote: Maddie & Tae???)

 

 

Album of the Year

Should Win:

Dierks Bentley, Black
Florida Georgia Line, Dig Your Roots
Maren Morris, Hero
Keith Urban, Ripcord
Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings – MM, CA, CB, LS

Will Win:

Dierks Bentley, Black
Florida Georgia Line, Dig Your Roots
Maren Morris, Hero
Keith Urban, Ripcord
Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings – MM, CA, CB, LS

Markus: Not even close. Hopefully this one goes to its rightful winner. I think it might.

Corey: Dig Your Roots was my personal favorite of the year, but you can’t deny Lambert in claiming Album of the Year after a 24-track record. Plus, Eric Church isn’t in the category, making her path to the award easier.

Christina: Although all of the albums in this category had bright spots, but Miranda Lambert put her heart and soul into this double album and it absolutely deserves the win here.

Lydia: Miranda’s The Weight of These Wings was so damn heartfelt and so full of raw emotion it will be a true shame if she doesn’t take this one home.  

Photo by Becky Fluke

Song of the Year

Should Win:

“Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Keith Urban (Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen)
“Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett (Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur)
Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw (Lori McKenna) – CA, CB
“Kill a Word,” Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens (Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde) – MM, LS
“Tennessee Whiskey,” Chris Stapleton (Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove)
“Vice,” Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)

Will Win:

“Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Keith Urban (Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen)
“Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett (Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur)
Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw (Lori McKenna) – MM, CA, CB
“Kill a Word,” Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens (Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde)- LS
“Tennessee Whiskey,” Chris Stapleton (Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove)
“Vice,” Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)

Markus: Some fantastic stuff here in Tim, Eric and Miranda. Any of those three would be excellent picks, but think Lori McKenna takes home the victory here.

Corey: Tim McGraw. Lori McKenna. Enough said.

Christina: I think I have heard “Humble and Kind” a thousand times and every single time I appreciate a different facet of the songwriting. I really hope they award Lori for this one.

Lydia: I’m pulling for “Kill A Word” here, it strikes a chord with me each time I hear it and it’s incredibly relevant. I do LOVE “Humble and Kind” and would be thrilled for Lori McKenna but I’ve got to go with Eric Church on this one.  

Single of the Year

Should Win:

Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.” – CA
Tim McGraw, “Humble and Kind” 
Maren Morris, “My Church” –LS
Miranda Lambert, “Vice” – MM

Will Win:

Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.”
Tim McGraw, “Humble and Kind”
Maren Morris, “My Church” – MM, CA, LS
Miranda Lambert, “Vice”

Markus: Really solid group overall actually. I think Maren takes it but wouldn’t be shocked no matter the result.

Corey: This was a tough call. “H.O.L.Y.” stayed atop the country charts for nearly 20 weeks, but I can’t see Maren leaving Las Vegas empty handed. It’s a toss up, but give me the powerful “My Church” to propel here.

Lydia: “My Church” has propelled Maren Morris into complete stardom and she’s so hot right now.  I think she’ll be the winner but honestly they are all strong contenders.  

Vocal Event of the Year

Should Win:

Dierks Bentley (Feat. Elle King), “Different for Girls”
Various Artists, “Forever Country” – MM, CA, CB
Florida Georgia Line (Feat. Tim McGraw), “May We All” – LS
Kenny Chesney (Feat. Pink) “Setting the World on Fire”
Chris Young (Feat. Cassadee Pope), “Think of You”

Will Win:

Dierks Bentley (Feat. Elle King), “Different for Girls”
Various Artists, “Forever Country” – MM, CA, CB, LS
Florida Georgia Line (Feat. Tim McGraw), “May We All”
Kenny Chesney (Feat. Pink) “Setting the World on Fire”
Chris Young (Feat. Cassadee Pope), “Think of You”

Markus: “Forever Country” was a moment, and a tier higher than the rest of these. Even though it’s a CMA project, I think/hope it’ll be rewarded here. Who knows, could see it being any of these five really.

Corey: Recently went back and watched the “Forever Country” tribute again, and it still gives me chills.

Christina: I totally agree with Markus and Corey here, visually and sonically I love this video and this epic moment for country music.

Lydia: Although not traditionally a FGL fan, something about this one got me.  I thought the collaboration with Tim McGraw worked well.  I do think that “Forever Country” will win it though as it’s such a fan favorite.  

Music Video of the Year

Should Win:

Chris Stapleton, “Fire Away”
Various Artists, “Forever Country” – MM, CA, CB, LS
Tim McGraw, “Humble and Kind”
Kelsea Ballerini, “Peter Pan”
Miranda Lambert, “Vice”

Will Win:

Chris Stapleton, “Fire Away”
Various Artists, “Forever Country” – MM, CA, CB, LS
Tim McGraw, “Humble and Kind”
Kelsea Ballerini, “Peter Pan”
Miranda Lambert, “Vice”

Markus: In a career-high performance, I think I’ve actually seen three of these. I could really just copy-paste from above. Should be “Forever Country” (though Stapleton’s video is also tremendous and would be a worthy recipient).

Corey: If not for the amazing production of “Forever Country”, I believe Stapleton would take this one. But you can’t deny the greatness.
Lydia: No contest here, “Forever Country” is the winner here.  I also agree with Markus, Chris Stapleton’s “Fire Away”  would be a worthy recipient and would be my second choice for sure.