It has been a good year for country quartet Little Big Town thanks in large part to their hit song “Girl Crush,” which won them a Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group and CMA Awards for Single and Song of the Year. Now they’re the frontrunners to win Vocal Group of the Year at the ACM Awards for the third time.
Our ACM odds are based on the combined predictions of Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s ACM winners and the hundreds of total Users who make up our largest and often savviest bloc of predictors, and most of us agree that Little Big Town are heavy favorites.
Twenty-one of our Top 24 are betting on them to prevail, giving them 2/9 odds. And all five of our editors agree: Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon, Rob Licuria, Paul Sheehan and I are forecasting Little Big Town.
They have been perennial nominees in this category for the last decade, earning 10 nominations since 2005, but they didn’t win until 2012. Then in 2013 they lost to The Band Perry, but they made a comeback last year. At this year’s awards they have five total nominations, including three bids for “Girl Crush” (Single, Song, Music Video) and one for “Smokin and Drinkin” (Musical Event). So with all that support, are they really locks to win this award again?
Three of our top users are actually betting on an upset by Zac Brown Band, giving them 6/1 odds. That includes Paul Rankin, who tied for the top score (73%) predicting last year’s winners. Could he be right? Like Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band are perennial ACM nominees; this is their seventh consecutive bid for Vocal Group of the Year, but they haven’t won. In fact, they haven’t won any category since 2010, when they claimed Vocal Event of the Year (“As She’s Walking Away”). Before that, they were named New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year in 2008.
None of our editors or top users are predicting the remaining three nominees. Of those, the biggest threat may be Rascal Flatts, who won this award seven years in a row (2002-2008), but they haven’t won since then. Then there’s Eli Young Band, nominated for the fourth time with no wins to date. Rounding out the category are Old Dominion, who are already winners this year, named New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year earlier in March.
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Photo credit: ABC