CMA Awards Predictions: Who Will Win in Each Category

CMA Awards Predictions: Who Will Win in Each Category

Before the 52nd CMA Awards kick off at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. CT on ABC, we asked 10 people around the Nash Country Daily office to predict which artists will be taking home trophies.

There was no back-and-forth debate, no who “should” win, and no waffling. Each panelist was simply asked: Who WILL win in each category?


  1. Ty Bentli, co-host Ty, Kelly & Chuck
  2. Glenn Johnson, executive producer Ty, Kelly & Chuck
  3. Bryan Webb, digital coordinator Ty, Kelly & Chuck
  4. Elaina Smith, co-host Nash Nights Live
  5. Shawn Parr, co-host Nash Nights Live
  6. Blair Garner, host Blair Garner Show
  7. Eric Garner, producer Blair Garner Show
  8. Nikita Palmer, producer Nash Network
  9. Lonnie Napier, producer American Country Countdown
  10. Jim Casey, editor in chief Nash Country Daily

Here’s who we think WILL win each award . . . but seriously, what do we know?

Each ♦ represents one vote.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean ♦
  • Luke Bryan ♦♦♦♦
  • Kenny Chesney♦
  • Chris Stapleton ♦
  • Keith Urban ♦♦♦

Female Vocalist of the Year

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

Male Vocalist of the Year

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

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
  • Florida Georgia Line ♦♦♦
  • Maddie & Tae
  • Sugarland

New Artist of the Year

  • Lauren Alaina
  • Luke Combs ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
  • Chris Janson
  • Midland
  • Brett Young ♦

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum ♦
  • Little Big Town ♦
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Album of the Year

  • From A Room: Volume 2 – Chris Stapleton; Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton ♦♦
  • Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves; Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian, Kacey Musgraves ♦♦
  • Graffiti U – Keith Urban; Producers: Keith Urban, Dan McCarroll, J.R. Rotem, Josh Kerr, Jason Evigan, Greg Wells, Benny Blanco, Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Jesse Shatkin, Jimmy Robbins, Oscar Holter, Matt Rad, Eric Valentine, Ian Kirkpatrick, Mike Elizondo, Captain Cuts, Ross Copperman, Dann Huff, Peter Karlsson
  • Life Changes – Thomas Rhett; Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett ♦♦♦♦♦
  • The Mountain – Dierks Bentley; Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall Stewart, Arturo Buenahora Jr. ♦

Single of the Year (Awarded to Singer, Producer and Engineer)

  • “Broken Halos” – Chris Stapleton; Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; Mix Engineer: Vance Powell
  • “Drinkin’ Problem” – Midland; Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne; Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank
  • “Drowns the Whiskey” – Jason Aldean (Feat. Miranda Lambert); Producer: Michael Knox; Mix Engineer: Jeff Braun
  • “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line; Producer: Willshire; Mix Engineer: Serban Ghenea ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
  • “Tequila” – Dan + Shay; Producers: Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers; Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano ♦♦♦

Song of the Year (Awarded to Songwriters)

  • “Body Like A Back Road” – Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne ♦
  • “Broken Halos” – Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton ♦♦
  • “Drowns the Whiskey” – Songwriter: Brandon Kinney, Jeff Middleton, Josh Thompson
  • “Drunk Girl” – Songwriter: Scooter Carusoe, Tom Douglas, Chris Janson ♦♦♦♦
  • “Tequila” – Songwriter: Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers ♦♦♦

Musical Event of the Year

  • “Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
  • “Dear Hate” – Maren Morris (Feat. Vince Gill)
  • “Drowns the Whiskey” – Jason Aldean (Feat. Miranda Lambert) ♦♦♦
  • “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” – David Lee Murphy (with Kenny Chesney)
  • “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to Artist & Director)

  • “Babe” – Sugarland (Featuring Taylor Swift); Director: Anthony Mandler ♦♦
  • “Cry Pretty” – Carrie Underwood; Director: Randee St. Nicholas ♦♦
  • “Drunk Girl” – Chris Janson; Director: Jeff Venable ♦
  • “Marry Me” – Thomas Rhett; Director: TK McKamy ♦♦♦
  • “Tequila” – Dan + Shay; Director: Patrick Tracy ♦♦

photos by Tammie Arroyo,

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