Predictions for Country & American Roots Categories at the 2017 Grammy Awards


This Sunday we celebrate the biggest music awards show of the years. I’m of course referring to the 59th Grammy Awards, set to air Sunday night at 8 pm ET on CBS. Many of the awards however are presented in the pre-show that’s live streamed online and information for this can found be found here. After hosting for five years, LL Cool J steps aside as host and The Late Late Show host James Corden takes over. Multiple country artists will be performing on the show, including Sturgill Simpson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban (most likely new single “The Fighter”), Little Big Town (part of tribute to Bee Gees), Maren Morris (duet with Alicia Keys) and Kelsea Ballerini (duet with Lukas Graham). Now let’s get to the predictions! Keep in mind I’m not the best at this prediction game, but I feel like I do a little better each year. The award shows can be unpredictable. And be sure to make your own predictions in the comments.

Note: I will not be doing a live blog this year. I will however be live tweeting it all on Twitter, where you can all of my live thoughts as the show unfolds. Just go to to follow if you don’t have Twitter. I’ll also most likely be doing a recaps/reaction post.

Album of the Year

  • Adele – 25
  • Beyoncé – Lemonade 
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose 
  • Drake – Views
  • Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

What I Would Pick To Win: Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth of course. Just imagine the outcries afterwards of all the big names that got taken down by some guy from Kentucky who made an album for his son.

What I Predict Will Win: Beyoncé’s Lemonade is the clear favorite I think, with Adele being the closest competition. But with other big names in Drake and Bieber also here, the votes could easily split and lead to Sturgill pulling off an upset similar to Beck a few years ago. I’d be fine with Beyoncé and Adele winning if Sturgill doesn’t, as I enjoyed both of their albums.

Best New Artist

  • Maren Morris
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Chance The Rapper
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Anderson .Paak

Who I Would Pick To Win: Anderson .Paak or Chance The Rapper, as both of their latest albums were awesome. But if I had to pick between these two, I would go with .Paak.

Who I Predict Will Win: Honestly I have no clue here. I could see any of these nominees winning, even Kelsea Ballerini because despite being a complete unknown outside of the country music bubble, Black River Entertainment continues to prove they have a lot of friends in high places. Morris is getting to duet with Alicia Keys and is quickly becoming a darling on the awards circuit. I’ll be content as long as Ballerini or The Chainsmokers don’t win.

Best Country Solo Performance 

  • Brandy Clark – “Love Can Go To Hell”
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice”
  • Maren Morris – “My Church”
  • Carrie Underwood – “Church Bells”
  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

What I Would Pick To Win: Miranda Lambert’s “Vice” (Anything but Urban’s song, which is ironically exactly what I wrote here last year)

What I Predict Will Win: Maren Morris’ “My Church” due to as I said above Morris quickly become an awards circuit favorite and this single being extremely popular. The other favorite I would think is Underwood, as she’s been a favorite of the Grammys.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

  • Dierks Bentley & Elle King – “Different For Girls”
  • Brothers Osborne – “21 Summer”
  • Kenny Chesney & P!nk – “Setting The World on Fire”
  • Dolly Parton & Pentatonix – “Jolene”
  • Chris Young & Cassadee Pope – “Think of You”

What I Would Pick To Win: Woof this category is rough. I guess I would go with “21 Summer.”

What I Predict Will Win: Dierks Bentley & Elle King’s “Different For Girls” because apparently people are okay with stereotypical bullshit and really think this is some deep song.

Best Country Song

  • Keith Urban – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen)
  • Thomas Rhett – “Die A Happy Man” (Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur)
  • Tim McGraw – “Humble and Kind” (Lori McKenna)
  • Maren Morris – “My Church” (Maren Morris & busbee)
  • Miranda Lambert – “Vice” (Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne)

What I Would Pick To Win: Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” (Not Urban or Rhett)

What I Predict Will Win: Any of these have a great shot at winning I think. But I think they’ll go with “Humble and Kind” or “Vice.”

Best Country Album

  • Brandy Clark – Big Day in a Small Town
  • Loretta Lynn – Full Circle
  • Maren Morris – Hero
  • Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth 
  • Keith Urban – Ripcord

What I Would Pick To Win: Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

What I Predict Will Win: A Sailor’s Guide To Earth is pretty much a lock here, with Simpson getting an overall Album of the Year nomination and a performance slot.

Best American Roots Performance 

  • The Avett Brothers – “Ain’t No Man”
  • Blind Boys of Alabama – “Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time”
  • Rhiannon Giddens – “Factory Girl”
  • Sarah Jarosz – “House of Mercy”
  • Lori McKenna – “Wreck You”

What I Would Pick To Win: Rhiannon Giddens – “Factory Girl”

What I Predict Will Win: The Avett Brothers – “Ain’t No Man”

Best American Roots Song

  • Robbie Fulks – “Alabama at Night” (Robbie Fulks)
  • Jack White – “City Lights” (Jack White)
  • Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars – “Gulfstream” (Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero)
  • The Time Jumpers – “Kid Sister” (Vince Gill)
  • Lori McKenna – “Wreck You” (Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue)

What I Would Pick To Win: Lori McKenna – “Wreck You”

What I Predict Will Win: Jack White – “City Lights”

Best Americana Album

  • The Avett Brothers – True Sadness 
  • William Bell – This Is Where I Live
  • Kris Kristofferson – The Cedar Creek Sessions
  • Lori McKenna – The Bird & The Rifle
  • The Time Jumpers – Kid Sister

What I Would Pick To Win: Lori McKenna – The Bird & The Rifle

What I Predict Will Win: William Bell – This Is Where I Live

12 thoughts on “Predictions for Country & American Roots Categories at the 2017 Grammy Awards

  1. Raymond February 10, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Good to know I’m not the only one who absolutely hates The Chainsmokers. Sorry their music is vapid, shallow and unlikable so basically Kelsa Ballerini.

    I am really hoping that Maren Morris can sweep as much as possible. Also I really hope Beyonce sweeps as well (sorry Sturgill Simpson) because I absolutely adored Lemonade.


  2. KQ February 10, 2017 / 11:51 am

    I really hope urban doesn’t win anything either. His album was awful, as well as “blue ain’t your color”. Also like you, I really, really hope dierks doesn’t win.


  3. Ron February 10, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Best New Artist is a tough one. Having 2 country artists is unusual and they probably split the vote but Maren Morris could have an outside shot. It also could go to Chainsmokers just because they were so commercially successful. I don’t think anyone knows Anderson.paak but nobody knew Bon Iver either and he won. I don’t get all the Keith Urban love honestly especially with so many male artists having better years than him with better music. I think Record and Album get split between Adele and Beyonce. Hello gets record and Beyonce album


  4. Elissa February 10, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    I am hoping Sturgill is a winner because his album is u forgettable and exceptional. Not a fan of Maren Morris. She is so overrated. I love Keith Urban but he is gone war to pop for me. I love his song but country. Miranda Lambert IMO should take home the award but in today’s country genre very unpredictable


  5. countryopinionblog February 10, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Honestly, I’m just not into awards and mainstream stuff, for the most part. I am glad to see Loretta Lynn on there. She turns 85 this spring, and the duet she did with Willie Nelson is a link to a whole lot of American music history. Speaking of older legends, Mac Wiseman turns 92 this year, and just released a fine new album. I’m listening to it in the background as I type.

    I’ll mention the bluegrass category, because there is a ton of history and talent packed in there. Claire Lynch started her career in my hometown, and I’ll recommend her to fans of Alison Krauss and Sierra Hull. The O’Connor Band put on one of my favorite concerts last year, including some triple fiddle action (I’ll say the same for the Time Jumpers in the Americana category ). The other bluegrass nominees are also very worthy.

    I’ll also mention that there are some country artists tucked away in the assorted religious music categories. I don’t especially follow or even know the distinctions among the categories, but it’s worth mentioning Joey + Rory, since their final album was also one of the highest-selling country albums of 2016.


  6. Brett February 10, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    I think if Sturgill won album of the year, the music world would be absolutely turned upside down! It would be great because people would would get back to making cummulative epic albums as a whole work, and not those thats full of crappy singles and synth-pop trash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • seak05 February 10, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      you clearly haven’t heard Lemonaide, or Kendrick’s album last year. In fact many rap albums are cumulative.


  7. wvcountry24733 February 10, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    Sturgil even having nominations is huge…it’s gonna be even better if he wins cuz I think it will change alot.


  8. seak05 February 10, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    In scope and ambition Lemonaide should beat out Sailor (who is my 2nd fave in that category). The grammy’s have historically screwed over R&B/Hip Hop/Urban though in the all genre categories (see Kendrick last year & Beyonce before).

    Chance, Paak or Maren winnin BNA would be fine. I hope Lori McKenna wins something, also Rhiannon Giddens and Brandy Clark (not going to happen).


  9. Johnver Anareta February 10, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Hey Country Perspective!! What’s your prediction on Hillary Scott & The Scott Family Grammy nominations? Are they have a big chance to win?


  10. Perkins February 10, 2017 / 11:04 pm

    I’d be worried if I was the producers of the Grammy’s having Morris sing live – she is pretty terrible without heavy production, and is usually really flat. Could look bad if she gets BNA and then completely flubs onstage.


    • Ron February 12, 2017 / 9:51 pm

      She sounded pretty darn good with Alicia keys


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