Grammy for Best Country Album: Will Kacey Musgraves pull off upset over Chris Stapleton?

kacey musgraves pageant material chris stapleton traveller

Chris Stapleton (“Traveller“) is the only Grammy nominee for Best Country Artist who also contends for Album of the Year, so that should make him the clear frontrunner to win this award, right? Maybe, but maybe not.

Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions

It is true that Album of the Year nominees tend to have an advantage in genre categories, and Best Country Album is no exception. When this category has included a nominee for Album of the Year, that disc has won six out of eight times: Dixie Chicks (“Fly” in 1999, “Home” in 2002, “Taking the Long Way” in 2006), Vince Gill (“These Days,” 2007), Taylor Swift (“Fearless,” 2009) and Lady Antebellum (“Need You Now,” 2010).

That gives Stapleton a strong statistical advantage, and we already saw how much the industry loves him when he was awarded Album of the Year at the CMA Awards in November.

However, there are two exceptions to this rule. In 1998, Shania Twain was nominated for Album of the Year for “Come on Over,” but lost Best Country Album in an upset to the Dixie Chicks’ breakthrough, “Wide Open Spaces.” And in 2013, Taylor Swift was up for Album of the Year for “Red” but lost the country award to Kacey Musgraves (“Same Trailer, Different Park“).

Musgraves is nominated again this year for her sophomore album, “Pageant Material,” so Stapleton should watch his back. Can she pull off another upset?

They both face stiff competition from other artists recognized in the general field. Breakout star Sam Hunt is nominated for his debut album, “Montevallo.” He only has one other bid this year, but it’s a big one: Best New Artist. Keep in mind that both the Dixie Chicks and Kacey Musgraves were nominated for Best New Artist when they pulled off their upsets in this category.

Little Big Town aren’t nominated in the general field, but the songwriters behind their hit “Girl Crush” contend for Song of the Year, and the band could ride that wave of support to a win here for their album “Pain Killer,” which is the band’s sixth album but only their second to compete in this category, following “The Road to Here” in 2006.

Rounding out the race is Ashley Monroe, who picks up her first nomination in this category for “The Blade.” She has one other nomination this year: Best Country Duo/Group for “Lonely Tonight” with Blake Shelton.

Grammy for Best Rock Album: Newcomer James Bay vs. veterans Muse & Slipknot

Who do you think will win?

Make your Grammy predictions beginning with Best Country Album to the right or below. Just log into your Gold Derby account (or you can register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google) and then start casting your votes.

You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate 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 Grammy nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts, just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice.

Pageant Material” artwork credit: Mercury Nashville

Traveller” artwork credit: Mercury Nashville

More News from GoldDerby

Loading