The ACM Award for Female Vocalist of the Year has only had two winners in the last 10 years: Carrie Underwood (2007-2009) and Miranda Lambert (2010-2016). Both women are in the race again this year, and after a seven consecutive victories for Lambert can Underwood reclaim her title? It might be a close call.
Underwood currently leads our ACM predictions with even odds of 1/1, and it’s understandable why. She’s also nominated for Entertainer of the Year, and she’s the only female artist up for that top award. So if she’s the ACMs’ favorite female entertainment it stands to reason that she’s also their favorite female vocalist right? Not necessarily. In 2012, Taylor Swift was the only woman nominated for Entertainer of the Year — she won it too — but she still lost Female Vocalist to Lambert. In fact, Swift won Entertainer of the Year twice without ever winning Female Vocalist.
On the male side, Jason Aldean won Entertainer of the Year in 2016, but he lost Male Vocalist of the Year to Chris Stapleton, who wasn’t even up for Entertainer of the Year. And like Swift Luke Bryan has won Entertainer twice without ever prevailing in the Male Vocalist race. So the two categories don’t always go hand-in-hand.
And there’s reason to believe Underwood is vulnerable: besides Entertainer and Female Vocalist, she has no other nominations this year — not for any singles, songs, music videos or collaborations. But Lambert, though missing the key Entertainer nom, is represented just about everywhere else. With six total nominations, she’s tied as the second most nominated artist of the year behind Keith Urban (seven). That includes Album of the Year (“The Weight of These Wings”), which Lambert has never lost; Single Record of the Year (“Vice”), Song of the Year (“Vice” as both songwriter and artist) and Video of the Year (“Vice”). Nevertheless, we rate Miranda as an underdog in third place with 4/1 odds.
Both Underwood and Lambert will have to watch out for another six-time nominee, Maren Morris, who ranks second according to our predictions with 27/10 odds. Morris is new to the ACMs, but she’s already a proven winner this year: the Academy of Country Music recently announced her as the winner of New Female Vocalist of the Year. And Morris just beat Underwood at the Grammys for Best Country Solo Performance.
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