On Monday, September 4, the Country Music Association celebrated Labor Day by announcing the nominations for the 51st Annual CMA Awards, which will be handed out on Wednesday, November 8, during a ceremony that will air live on ABC. It will be hosted for the 10th year by country music favorites and past CMA winners Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. But who will win when the trophies are handed out? You can now enter our predictions contest right here to let us know who the frontrunners really are in 11 categories, including Entertainer of the Year. And check out the complete list of nominations.
Miranda Lambert is the leading nominee with five bids including Single of the Year (“Tin Man”) and Album of the Year (“The Weight of These Wings”), but she was snubbed in the top category, which is once again an exclusive boys’ club. It carries over four nominees from 2016: Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and defending champion Garth Brooks. The only difference this year is Eric Church, who replaces last year’s sole female nominee, Carrie Underwood. This is only the second nomination in this category for Church, who previously contended in 2015 and has yet to win this contest. He has two other bids this year: Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year (“Kill a Word” with Rhiannon Giddens).
It might be a tall order for Church to try to overtake Brooks, who has more Entertainer of the Year victories than anyone else in CMA history (five), but this is Brooks’s only nomination this year. On paper that would seem to make him an underdog, but he won this award on his only nomination last year too.
Bryan is also a past champion. He won consecutively in 2014 and 2015, and he is now nominated for the fifth year in a row, though he also lacks support in other categories; like Brooks this is his only nomination.
Urban has the longest track record in this category besides Brooks. He has been nominated a total of 10 times in the last 12 years. He won on his first try in 2005, but he hasn’t won again since. He has four total nominations this year, including Male Vocalist and Single of the Year (“Blue Ain’t Your Color”).
Stapleton is a relative CMA newcomer. He broke through with a surprise sweep in 2015, including Male Vocalist and New Artist of the Year. Then he earned a bid for Entertainer of the Year in 2016, and now he’s back for the second year in a row. This year he’s also up for Male Vocalist and Album of the Year (“From A Room: Volume 1“). Will he win for the first time?
Be sure to make your CMA predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see this year’s contenders are faring in our CMA odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on November 8. And join the discussion on this and more taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.