The 2016 ACM Awards will air live this Sunday at 8 PM ET on ABC. The 51st edition of the show will be hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, the latter’s first time as a host for the show. Some will tune in to see how they do as hosts. Some will tune in for the performances set throughout the night. But most will tune in to see who takes home the awards. Country music loves to go all out for these shows and the results are usually somewhere in the middle. You definitely will be taking some bad with the good and vice versa. When it comes to predicting these awards shows, I rely heavily on the artists’ past performance at awards shows and the history of the award show at hand. Of course the artist’s success over the last year and the push their camps have made to win will weigh into my predictions too. Along with my predictions, I give you who I would pick myself too. Be sure to make your own predictions in the comments below. So without further ado my predictions for the 2016 ACM Awards:
Entertainer of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Eric Church – I hear nothing but rave reviews about his live shows and he’s near the top of my bucket list for artists to see live. Not to mention he put out the best record of his career last November in the form of Mr. Misunderstood and has release two great singles from it.
Who I Think Will Win: Luke Bryan – Because he always gets chosen for this award. This will continue to be the case until country music gets the shake up it deserves.
Male Vocalist of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Chris Stapleton – Since I would pick Church for Entertainer of the Year, I would go with Stapleton here. Pretty self-explanatory.
Who I Think Will Win: Chris Stapleton – Do you really think the ACM Awards are going to miss out on StapletonMania? Picking someone outside of Stapleton or Church here will make the ACM look worse in comparison to the CMA. Plus unlike country radio, the country awards shows have been doing a fairly good job of keeping up with the trends and taking quality into consideration.
Female Vocalist of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Kacey Musgraves – The more I listen to Pageant Material, the more I enjoy it. This album was easily one of the most underrated of 2015 and I’m disappointed how many have brushed Kacey aside.
Who I Think Will Win: Carrie Underwood – Here’s my bold prediction for you. It shouldn’t be that bold, but it is when this award has basically went to Miranda Lambert by default in recent years and Carrie being shunned by country award shows every year. Kramer and Musgraves have no shot at winning. Ballerini can’t buy this award like her label buys her airplay. I say Carrie winning should be a slam dunk, but I wouldn’t bat an eye if Lambert won again because reasons.
Vocal Group of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Turnpike Troubadours – None of the nominees deserve to win. I would write-in the Turnpike Troubadours, who didn’t get enough love for their new album last year.
Who I Think Will Win: Little Big Town – They’re not quite done yet dominating awards show based off the success of “Girl Crush.” Once it ends though they will go back to where they were before it. In fact just look at Lady Antebellum’s career post-success of “Need You Now” and you get a pretty good idea of what’s ahead for Little Big Town. I give Zac Brown Band an outside shot since they now have the backing of Borchetta and Big Machine.
Vocal Duo of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Maddie & Tae – Country radio doesn’t appreciate them. Close-minded bros don’t appreciate them. But I appreciate them.
Who I Think Will Win: Florida Georgia Line – They’re still winning this category by default. Their next album will determine if this continues because their relevance and stature has slipped recently.
Album of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Chris Stapleton – Traveller or Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood – These are the only logical choices.
Who I Think Will Win: Chris Stapleton – Traveller – My reasoning for this is the same as picking Stapleton for Male Vocalist of the Year. Church and Hunt are other possible winners here, but I think Stapleton is the overwhelming favorite. You know what I want to talk about though? Chris Young and Thomas Rhett’s albums being nominees. They have no business whatsoever here. Young’s I’m Comin’ Over is one of the most boring albums I’ve ever heard and Rhett’s Tangled Up is just straight garbage that rips off multiple artists from Bruno Mars to Ed Sheeran. It’s an absolute joke these albums are even nominees.
Single Record of the Year (award goes to artist, producers & label)
Who I Would Pick: Cam’s “Burning House” – A pretty easy pick for me, as this song was one of the big surprise hits of 2015 and dominated sales.
Who I Think Will Win: Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” – This is by far the hardest category to predict. All of these songs had great sales in 2015 and spent their fair share of time atop the charts. But in the end I think Hunt wins because they don’t want him walking away empty-handed and I have to think Hunt’s label is tired of him not winning enough awards. Young is the only one I see not winning for sure, while the rest I could see pulling it off.
Song of the Year (award goes to songwriters, publishers & artist)
Who I Would Pick: Chris Stapleton’s “Nobody To Blame”
Who I Think Will Win: Chris Stapleton’s “Nobody To Blame” – All of the candidates here are good/decent, so I wouldn’t be angry if any of these won. I get a laugh though when I see Eric Paslay’s “She Don’t L0ve You” as a nominee. The country music industry has pretty much ignored this great song up to this point and just now getting around to it after Paslay sold out with “High Class.”
Vocal Event of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Sturgill Simpson & Jason Isbell – “Amarillo Highway”
Who I Think Will Win: Luke Bryan & Karen Fairchild – “Home Alone Tonight”
Video of the Year
Who I Would Pick: Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”
Who I Think Will Win: Eric Church – “Mr. Misunderstood”