Keith Urban will win Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2017 ACM Awards according to our predictions. He gets leading odds of 1/1. This is his 10th nomination in the category, and he has won the award twice (2005-2006), but that was 11 years ago. Since those two victories he has lost this race six times, and this is his first bid since 2014. However, he enters this year’s event as the most nominated artist of the year with seven bids, so he’s well positioned to finally reclaim his title.
These racetrack odds are based on the combined predictions of Gold Derby’s Editors who cover awards year-round, our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s ACM winners, our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine ACM predictions from the last two years, and all Users who represent our largest and often savviest predictions group.
Two out of four Editors, Marcus James Dixon and Paul Sheehan, are predicting Urban, as are 17 of our Top 24 Users, 14 of our All-Star Top 24 and more than 160 of our regular Users. So he definitely has a strong advantage, but he’s not insurmountable. He faces a tough challenge from the defending champ, Chris Stapleton, who ranks second in our predictions with odds of 9/4. That’s based on support from our other two Editors, Chris Beachum and myself, as well as five of our Top 24 and eight All-Stars, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only did Stapleton win on his first try at last year’s event, he also tied the record for the most wins in a single night (six). He can’t match that total this year since he’s only up for three awards, but he could certainly prevail again in this contest.
Jason Aldean is next in line with 11/2 odds. This is his seventh straight nomination, and he has won three times before (2013-2015). This is one of only two nominations for him this year, but the other is for Entertainer of the Year, so we mustn’t count him out. He is an underdog, however, with only two of our Top 24 and one of our All-Stars picking him to win.
Thomas Rhett ranks fourth with 13/2 odds based on support from just one of our All-Stars. He’s nominated in one other category this year: Song of the Year where he contends as both an artist and songwriter for “Die a Happy Man.” That song actually won Single Record of the Year last year. This is Rhett’s first nomination in this category.
Rounding out the category is Dierks Bentley with 7/1 odds. Despite the fact that he’s co-hosting the awards this year with Luke Bryan, none of our Editors, Top 24 or All-Stars are predicting him to win this category, and few of our Users are backing him. But he’s also nominated for Album of the Year for “Black,” as well as Vocal Event of the Year for “Different for Girls” with Elle King, so he has significant support that we mustn’t discount.
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 winners are announced on April 2. 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 and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the ACM race in our music forum.