Little Big Town are hoping to do as well with their second Single of the Year nomination as they did with their first at the CMA Awards. The foursome won in 2012 for "Pontoon," which a few months later also earned them their first and only Grammy. This year they contend with their song "Girl Crush," and we place them out front to win again.
Our racetrack odds are based on the combined predictions of our Editors (those of us Gold Derby writers who cover awards year-round), Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who had the best scores predicting last year's CMAs) and all Users who have entered our predictions contest. Based on our collective input, "Girl Crush" gets leading odds of 10/11.
This comes despite, or perhaps even because of the minor controversy that accompanied the song's release. After reports that country radio stations pulled the songs over complaints about its gay content — though a cursory glance at the lyrics reveals no gay content at all — co-writer Hillary Lindsay and Little Big Town member Karen Fairchild spoke out in defense of the song.
But "Girl Crush" isn't a lock. It faces off against Kenny Chesney's "American Kids," which is his third nomination in the category following unsuccessful bids for "Summertime" (2006) and "Don't Blink" (2008). Unlike Little Big Town, Chesney is also nominated for Entertainer of the Year – will that translate to extra support in this category? One of our six Editors and four of our Top 24 think so, resulting in 11/4 odds. It's worth noting that despite trailing in this race, "American Kids" leads our predictions for the songwriting award, Song of the Year, with odds of 5/4.
Eric Church is next with odds of 10/1 for "Talladega." Only one of our Top 24 is predicting him to win even though he too is nominated for Entertainer of the Year. Are we underestimating him? He's been nominated in this category twice before but lost both times, for "Springsteen" (2012) and "Give Me Back My Hometown" (2014).
Newcomer Sam Hunt contends in this race for the first time with his hit single "Take Your Time," which ranks fourth with odds of 12/1. Lee Brice is also nominated for the first time, but his song "I Don't Dance" trails with 20/1 odds.
Make your own CMA picks now to the right or at the bottom of this post, and you could win a $100 Amazon gift card as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's CMA winners).
Last year, our Editors (Gold Derby's in-house team of writers and prognosticators), Top 24 Users and all Gold Derby Users tied with an accuracy rate of 66.67% when it came to predicting the CMA winners. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? User Dehlavi got the top score predicting the CMAs last year with a whopping 89% accuracy rate. As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.
Photo: Little Big Town. Credit: Jim Smeal/BEI/REX