Grammy buzz: Country stars Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett & Sturgill Simpson aim for crossover success

The Country Music Association handed out their awards on November 2, and our forum posters are now busily debating what artists will fill the country categories at the Grammy Awards, whose nominations are announced on December 6. And of those, how many will crossover into general field categories the way Chris Stapleton (Album of the Year nominee for “Traveller”) and Sam Hunt (Best New Artist nominee) did last year?

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Maren Morris won New Artist of the Year at the CMAs, and that category has been predictive of Grammy success in recent years. Stapleton won last year before claiming two Grammys in country categories. Before that Kacey Musgraves won New Artist in 2013 and then picked up a pair of Grammys a few months later too. Other CMA winners for New Artist who become Grammy winners include Lady Antebellum (2008), Zac Brown Band (2010) and The Band Perry (2011).

There’s also a chance the CMA Award winner for Single of the Year, Thomas Rhett‘s “Die a Happy Man,” could contend at the Grammys. Last year another crossover country hit earned a Grammy bid for Song of the Year, “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town. So don’t underestimate the young star.

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Then there’s Sturgill Simpson. He’s never been nominated at the CMA Awards, but his 2016 album “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” is a critics’ darling, and every once in a while the Grammys will single out an acclaimed artist who mostly flies under the radar of country insiders at the CMAs — consider recent Best Country Album nominees Ashley Monroe (“The Blade,” 2015), Brandy Clark (“12 Stories,” 2014) and The Time Jumpers (“The Time Jumpers,” 2012).

What else are our forum posters expecting from this year’s country contenders at the Grammys? Read some of their comments below, then join the discussion in our forums.

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JB: I think Maren Morris has the potential to upset everybody in the country categories (even over my fave Carrie Underwood). She’s easily getting nods for Country Solo and Country Song for “My Church.” A Country Album nod is not out of the question either. Her performance and win at the CMA Awards could echo the same kind of breakthrough Chris Stapleton had. I think she will also break into the general field for Best New Artist and is a dark horse in the Song of the Year category for “My Church” as well.

james14: For the general field, I am currently predicting Maren Morris in Best New Artist and “Die a Happy Man” in Song of the Year. Really hoping for a Sturgill Simpson breakthrough in Album of the Year as well, although he’ll likely be left on the outside.

Kadu335: Really hopeful we’ll see Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, Sturgill Simpson and Eric Church filling some spots this year!

EmmyWinner: Loretta Lynn, Maren Morris, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Brady Clark would make a PERFECT line up for Best Country Album.

Make your Grammy predictions now; change them till Dec. 6

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 as often as you like before nominations are announced on Dec. 6.  Just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the Grammy race in our music forum.

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