Carrie Underwood won her first three CMA Award nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year (2006-2008), but then her winning streak came to an abrupt end. She has been nominated every year since — this is her 11th bid — but she has lost the last seven in a row. However, she’ll finally return to the winner’s circle according to our official racetrack odds.
Underwood gets leading 4/7 odds to prevail. It doesn’t hurt that this year also marks her first ever nomination for Entertainer of the Year after a decade as a country crossover superstar. She’s got four nominations total in 2016, including an Album of the Year bid for her latest collection, “Storyteller.”
Ranked second with 5/2 odds is a first-time contender, Maren Morris. Her major label debut studio album, “Hero,” was released just this past June, but in that short time she has impressed the Country Music Association enough for them to nominate her five times, including New Artist of the Year. Last year first-timer Chris Stapleton made a similarly big impact at the CMAs, sweeping his categories, so perhaps Morris has the potential to do the same this year.
It’s been quite a while since Miranda Lambert has been an underdog in this race; she’s the six-time defending champion, which is the most awards ever won by an artist in this category. But this time she ranks third with 7/2 odds. Unlike Underwood and Morris, Lambert has no other nominations this year.
Newcomer Kelsea Ballerini is in fourth place with 10/1 odds. This is her second nomination in this category, and she also competes against Morris in the New Artist of the Year contest, but those are the only two awards she’s up for this year.
Rounding out the category is critics’ darling Kacey Musgraves with 16/1 odds. This is her fourth straight bid, but she has yet to win this award. She did, however, win New Artist in 2013 and Song of the Year (“Follow Your Arrow”) in 2014. But she has no other nominations this year, which may indicate that this will not be her night.
Weigh in now with your CMA predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how she’s faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on November 2 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over this fall’s music awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.