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Here’s Who Should Win At The 2019 CMA Awards

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As Nashville celebrates the CMA Awards on Wednesday, the state of the industry is probably best described as mixed. The nominees reflect that, pitting artists like Chris Stapleton against the pop stylings of artists like Dan + Shay. That’s not exactly a new dynamic for country music, but the pop seems to keep getting poppier, even while a handful of traditionalists find success making excellent music that honors the genre’s roots.

As history has proven, some of the innovation that comes out of blending country with other sounds is worth awarding. Dolly Parton, who’s set to guest host the ceremony along with Reba McEntire and host Carrie Underwood, will be an on-screen reminder of that point, proved by nominee Kacey Musgraves this year as well.

Single of the Year was the toughest category for me. I like Maren Morris, but found “Girl” to be a little dull with unnecessary pop flairs. The production on “God’s Country” (a surprisingly good song) and “Burning Man” is compelling, but “Millionaire” ultimately is too hard to beat.

My picks for who should take home each award presented during the live show are below. You can watch the 2019 CMA Awards at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC tonight. After the first day of impeachment hearings, we could all use Dolly on our TVs.

Entertainer of the Year

Garth Brooks
Eric Church
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
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

Album of the Year

Center Point Road, Thomas Rhett (Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson)
Cry Pretty, Carrie Underwood (Producers: David Garcia, Jim Jonsin, Carrie Underwood)
Dan + Shay, Dan + Shay (Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks)
Desperate Man, Eric Church (Producers: Jay Joyce, Arturo Buenahora Jr.)
Girl, Maren Morris (Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin)

New Artist of the Year

Cody Johnson
Midland
Carly Pearce
Ashley McBryde
Morgan Wallen

Song of the Year

“Beautiful Crazy,” Luke Combs (Songwriters: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford)
“Girl,” Maren Morris (Songwriters: Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin)
“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton (Songwriters: Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy)
“Rainbow,” Kacey Musgraves (Songwriters: Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves)
“Tequila,” Dan + Shay (Songwriters: Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds)

Single of the Year

“Burning Man,” Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne (Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Arturo Buenahora Jr.; Mix Engineer: F. Reid Shippen)
“Girl,” Maren Morris (Producer: Greg Kurstin; Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin)
“God’s Country,” Blake Shelton (Producer: Scott Hendricks; Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank)
“Millionaire,” Chris Stapleton (Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; Mix Engineer: Vance Powell)
“Speechless,” Dan + Shay (Producers: Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks; Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano)

Vocal Group of the Year

Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Midland
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae





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