Predictions For The 2015 ACM Awards: The Winners, The Losers & Maybe Some Country Music?

2015 ACM Awards

Well here we are; another country music awards show is here. The 50th ACM Awards show has arrived. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will once again host the show, which will air on Sunday on CBS at 8 pm ET from Dallas. It’ll be held in Cowboys Stadium, aka Jerry Jones’ Death Star. Also with Bryan and Shelton hosting again we are guaranteed to have some stupid moments/sketches that further embarrass country music. Aren’t awards shows great? There really isn’t a lot in my opinion to be excited about with this year’s ACM Awards, unlike last year where everyone tuned in to see if George Strait or Luke Bryan would in Entertainer of the Year. No, I’m more interested in ACM Presents: Superstar Duets where we get to see Cole Swindell try to sing alongside Alan Jackson. The train wreck factor is sky-high and I love to watch a good train wreck. But sadly that won’t be airing until May, as it’s only being taped this weekend. Don’t worry I’ll be live blogging that one too.

Back to this year’s ACM Awards, which look pretty predictable on paper. Miranda Lambert leads all artists in nominations with nine, which shocks nobody. Dierks Bentley follows with seven nominations and Florida Georgia Line after that with five nominations. Miranda will once again rack up a lot of hardware. That’s inevitable. I’m hoping for some sort of surprise so I don’t go crazy watching this show. I’ll be posting live results here on Sunday night, as we do on every awards show. You can follow along and react together right here on Country Perspective. And I’ll be live tweeting my thoughts too. One way or another I’m going to find a way to make this show entertaining because ACM surely isn’t. So without further ado let’s take a look at the 2015 ACM Awards:

Entertainer of the Year

  • Garth Brooks
  • Jason Aldean
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Luke Bryan
  • Florida Georgia Line

Who I Think Wins: Luke Bryan because he got “snubbed” last year according to this camp. Whatever. Garth Brooks and his camp have been pushing hard, but I have yet to be convinced that Garth has the same sway and power he did in his heyday. He has done nothing on radio upon his return due to the fact that he picked the worst single choices possible. I have no idea what the hell his team was thinking by choosing “People Loving People” and “Mom” as singles. Garth’s comeback has been nothing but a giant yawn. But hey he still sells out stadiums and arenas.

Who I Would Pick to Win: None. Sturgill Simpson is better than all of the above artists and would be my pick to win.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Blake Shelton
  • Brad Paisley
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan

Who I Think Wins: Jason Aldean has won this award two years in a row. Blake Shelton won in 2011. I think it comes down to these two on who wins. I’ll go with Aldean just because he whined about the CMA Awards snubbing him and the ACM Awards seem to like him. Plus Aldean has had more success with his newest album and singles.

Who I Would Pick to Win: Dierks Bentley because he was the only one of those six above to put out a good album in 2014. Bentley’s singles also performed well across the board. I still don’t understand how Brad Paisley got nominated and Tim McGraw didn’t.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Brandy Clark
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Martina McBride
  • Miranda Lambert

Who I Think Wins: Miranda Lambert. You can take this one to the bank.

Who I Would Pick to Win: Carrie Underwood because she arguably released the best single in mainstream country music in 2014. Her newest single “Little Toy Guns” will also be one of the best singles in mainstream country music in 2015. I’d think Carrie would get tired of losing to Miranda, but many Carrie fans would point out former Sony Nashville CEO Gary Overton would be to blame. We’ll have to wait and see if the new CEO helps Carrie on the next round of awards shows.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae
  • The Swon Brothers

Who I Think Wins: Florida Georgia Line. Maddie & Tae aren’t ready to compete with them yet. The rest of the candidates are laughable.

Who I Would Pick to Win: None. I would pick First Aid Kit, winner of Country Perspective’s 2014 Group of the Year award.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

Who I Think Wins: Little Big Town because they by far have gotten the most acclaim and attention in the last year. The recent buzz about “Girl Crush” guarantee they win this award. Zac Brown Band will be the favorites next year since they’re releasing a new album this year. The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts are just filling spots. Lady Antebellum is irrelevant.

Who I Would Pick to Win: None. Write-in Old Crow Medicine Show.

New Artist of the Year

  • Sam Hunt
  • Cole Swindell
  • Thomas Rhett

Who I Think Wins: Shoot me. You know my thoughts on these three nominees. All three get their asses kissed pretty hard by Music Row and country radio, but out of the three Hunt is the most prized asshole. He’ll win this one and be declared the new face of country music while I contemplate throwing stuff.

Who I Would Pick to Win: None of these three, that’s for damn sure. If it was up to me I would give New Artist of the Year to Karen Jonas. If I had to pick a mainstream artist, it would be Eric Paslay.

Album of the Year

  • Jason Aldean – Old Boots, New Dirt
  • Little Big Town – Pain Killer
  • Miranda Lambert – Platinum
  • Dierks Bentley – Riser
  • Eric Church – The Outsiders

Who I Think Wins: Conventional wisdom says to pick Miranda to win, so I’m going to pick Platinum to win. I thought about picking Church’s The Outsiders, but then I remembered Lambert won a Grammy for best country album. If you’re going against Miranda in a category, you’re screwed. Sorry Church fans.

Who I Would Pick to Win: Once again, none of these nominees. Sure Dierks Bentley’s Riser album was good, but it’s not album of the year good. I’d go with Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, our 2014 Album of the Year winner.

Single Record of the Year

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Dirt” – Florida Georgia Line
  • “Drunk on a Plane” – Dierks Bentley
  • “I Don’t Dance” – Lee Brice

Who I Think Wins: Remember when I said above if you go against Miranda in an award category, you’re screwed? Well I would like to add an addendum. If you’re Florida Georgia Line you have a chance. Those are the two it will come down to here. It’s a real tossup, but I think Florida Georgia Line will pull off the minor upset. “Dirt” was a much more popular song than “Automatic” last year.

Who I Would Pick to Win: Not only do I think “Dirt” will win, but I would also pick it. Listen, these two tools do a lot of stuff wrong and we picked their 2014 album Anything Goes as the winner of Country Perspective’s 2014 Worst Album of the Year. But they deserve to be recognized for finally getting a song right. As they say a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then, so it wouldn’t be fair to rob blind squirrels.

Song of the Year

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Drink A Beer” – Luke Bryan
  • “Follow Your Arrow” – Kacey Musgraves
  • “Give Me Back My Hometown” – Eric Church
  • “I Hold On” – Dierks Bentley

Who I Think Wins: This is by far the most wide open award this year. Each song has some sort of case to win. I’ve decided to pick Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” to win for two reasons. First the song has already won numerous awards, so giving it another one wouldn’t look out of the ordinary. The second reason and this is the most important is because of the recent incident with “Girl Crush.” A lot of cries of homophobia in country music was echoed by people across the country with this incident and giving “Follow Your Arrow” song of the year would help country music’s image and silence some vocal opponents.

Who I Would Pick to Win: I’d give Song of the Year to Dierks Bentley’s “I Hold On” because it was an underrated song and arguably one of Dierks’ best singles of his career. People wonder why Dierks releases stupid songs like “Drunk on a Plane” and the reason why is because he never gets enough credit for his more substantial singles.

Video of the Year

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Cop Car” – Keith Urban
  • “Drunk on a Plane” – Dierks Bentley
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell
  • “Somethin’ Bad” – Carrie Underwood & Miranda Lambert

Who I Think Wins: Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert’s “Somethin’ Bad” because it gives Carrie an award and Miranda another one.

Who I Would Pick To Win: I don’t care about this at all.

Vocal Event of the Year

  • “Lonely Tonight” – Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe
  • “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
  • “Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood
  • “This Is How We Roll” – Florida Georgia Line & Luke Bryan
  • “The South” – The Cadillac Three, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley & Mike Eli

Who I Think Wins: “This Is How We Roll” because it’s the collaboration of country music’s two biggest cash cows. It experienced some cross-over appeal too. I’m just glad this is the last we’ll hear of this song on an awards show. By the way I have to ask: Have any of you even heard “The South”? I’m guessing no. And if you’re wondering why it’s here it’s because of politics.

Who I Would Pick to Win: “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” because McGraw deserves some kind of award for his good 2014 album Sundown Heaven Town. If I’m a McGraw fan, I’m pretty angry about the ACMs practically shutting him out. We’ll see if they give him anything.

That’s all of this year’s major awards at the ACMs. Who are your picks to win? Do you have much interest at all in this year’s show? Weigh-in below!

Initial Thoughts on the 2015 ACM Award Nominations

2015 ACM Awards

Due to Winter Storm Juno, the 2015 ACM Award nominations were pushed back from Tuesday this past week to yesterday morning (much to the chagrin of country music outlets looking for stuff to write about). There aren’t a lot of surprises for the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards show. Miranda Lambert leads all artists in nominations with nine, which shocks nobody. Dierks Bentley follows with seven nominations and Florida Georgia Line after that with five nominations. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will once again host the show, which will air on Sunday, April 19 on CBS at 8 pm ET. Without further ado let’s take a look at the nominations.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Garth Brooks
  • Jason Aldean
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Luke Bryan
  • Florida Georgia Line

In a fair world Sturgill Simpson wins this awards hands down. None of these nominations really impressed me in 2014. Garth has bombed at radio, but his concert sales top everyone. Regardless I think everyone knows this is Luke Bryan’s to lose. It would be nice to see Garth pull off the upset, but I would be surprised.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Blake Shelton
  • Brad Paisley
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan

Due to a tie we get six nominations here. How the hell does Brad Paisley get nominated and not Tim McGraw? McGraw’s album was not only much better, but his singles performed better too. McGraw is also nominated for a Grammy. Even though it’s a joke Paisley is nominated, he has a snowball’s chance of hell in winning so it’s not worth getting too upset about. Bryan is the front-runner to win this too, but if they’re giving him Entertainer of the Year then maybe somebody else will probably win. If that’s the case I see Blake winning.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Brandy Clark
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Martina McBride
  • Miranda Lambert

I’m 99.9% sure Miranda is winning this one. Martina McBride is just there to fill the fifth spot. Personally I would choose Carrie Underwood to win this, but her case isn’t strong enough to overcome Miranda. Brandy Clark being nominated is a nice gesture. Musgraves will have a much better chance to win next year after releasing her second album this year.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae
  • The Swon Brothers

AKA the Florida Georgia Line award. Maybe Maddie & Tae have a shot next year, but they have no chance of overthrowing the bros yet. Florida Georgia Line wins and I continue to listen to way more talented country duos.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band has more talent than the other four combined, but they didn’t release an album last year so they have no chance of winning. The Band Perry put out an awesome Glen Campbell cover, but they’re just here to fill a spot. Rascal Flatts still make music? This will come down to Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town, but I think the latter is the favorite to win. Their album has received an unusually high amount of praise for its blatant pop rock music.

Album of the Year

  • Jason Aldean – Old Boots, New Dirt
  • Little Big Town – Pain Killer
  • Miranda Lambert – Platinum
  • Dierks Bentley – Riser
  • Eric Church – The Outsiders

Every single 2014 Country Perspective Album of the Year candidate is light-years better than these nominations. I mean sure Dierks Bentley’s Riser is good, but it’s not album of the year worthy. It also has no chance of winning. My gut tells me Eric Church should win this one, but I think Miranda and Aldean have a good shot to win too. I’ll need to think about my prediction for this award.

Single Record of the Year

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Dirt” – Florida Georgia Line
  • “Drunk on a Plane” – Dierks Bentley
  • “I Don’t Dance” – Lee Brice

This is another award for Miranda to lose. But you may surprised who I think should win and that is “Dirt.” It’s clearly the best song of this bunch and Florida Georgia Line actually put out a song of substance for once. So for once I think Florida Georgia Line should win for doing something good. I’ll wait and see on this.

Song of the Year

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Drink A Beer” – Luke Bryan
  • “Follow Your Arrow” – Kacey Musgraves
  • “Give Me Back My Hometown” – Eric Church
  • “I Hold On” – Dierks Bentley

Just like Male Vocalist of the Year we have six nominations for Song of the Year due to a tie. It’s not a very impressive field of songs though. Once again Dierks has a good nomination, but it’s not worthy of the award. I hate this Eric Church song. “Follow Your Arrow” is probably one of the weakest songs on her album, but it has a great message and has already won numerous awards. Luke and Miranda’s offerings are lukewarm to me and “American Kids” gets way too much credit. This one is a toss-up.

Video of the Year

  • “American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
  • “Cop Car” – Keith Urban
  • “Drunk on a Plane” – Dierks Bentley
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell
  • “Somethin’ Bad” – Carrie Underwood & Miranda Lambert

I really don’t care about this award, but I hope Glen Campbell wins. He probably will as a thank you for his career. He’s certainly the most deserving of these five.

Vocal Event of the Year

  • “Lonely Tonight” – Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe
  • “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
  • “Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood
  • “This Is How We Roll” – Florida Georgia Line & Luke Bryan
  • “The South” – The Cadillac Three, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley & Mike Eli

If you’re saying “what the hell?” to the last nomination, you’re not alone. There’s only one thing to explain it: politics. I think the first four nominations all have a shot of winning. It’s really a tossup. If I had to choose between them, I would go with “Lonely Tonight” just because I would like to see Monroe get some damn recognition for once. We would also have to swallow Blake winning, but it would be worth it in my mind.

Songwriter of the Year

  • Ashley Gorley
  • Chris Tompkins
  • Josh Osborne
  • Luke Laird
  • Rodney Clawson

No Dallas Davidson! That’s what I was happy about with these nominations. These writers have pretty much written all of the hits you hear on radio in the last year and are only nominated on this basis. It’s a shame the truly great songwriters aren’t recognized here.

So what do you think of the nominations? Be sure to weigh in below!