ACM Awards: Thomas Rhett could ‘Die a Happy Man’ with 2 upset victories

Thomas Rhett has three ACM Award nominations this year in two categories: Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year (as songwriter and artist for “Die a Happy Man”). According to our latest racetrack odds he’s an underdog in both categories, but can he pull off one or two stunning upsets?

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Male Vocalist of the Year may be the steeper hill for him to climb. This is his first nomination in that category after contending for New Artist of the Year in 2015 and New Male Vocalist in 2016. And to win he’ll have to get past some heavyweights. Keith Urban is this year’s most nominated artist with seven bids and won Male Vocalist twice (2005-2006); he currently leads our predictions with 21/20 odds. Defending champ Chris Stapleton is next with 27/10 odds. And three-time winner Jason Aldean (2013-2015) is close behind with 4/1 odds. Rhett trails in fourth with 9/2 odds, tied with Dierks Bentley.

But Rhett could definitely poach Song of the Year from current frontrunner “Humble and Kind” performed by Tim McGraw. Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man” is a 4/1 underdog in that race. But it was one of the biggest country hits of 2016, certified triple platinum and ranking second on Billboard’s year-end Hot Country Songs chart, behind only “H.O.L.Y.” by Florida Georgia Line. “Die a Happy Man” also earned Grammy and American Music Award nominations for Best Country Song. Most importantly, it actually won Single Record of the Year at the ACM Awards last year, so voters could finish what they started by awarding him the songwriting prize now.

Make your ACM predictions now; change them till April 2

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