First awarded in 2012, Best Country Duo/Group Performance is a relatively new category at the Grammy Awards in its current form — it was consolidated from previous categories for Country Duo/Group Vocal, Country Collaboration and Country Instrumental — but that doesn’t mean we can’t gain valuable insight from that short history. It may prove valuable to know that while many high profile artists have collaborated and competed for this trophy, no solo artists coming together for collaboration have ever won. That statistic gives a major advantage to Brothers Osborne this year, the only nominees who are a full-time duo, and that is why I am predicting them to pull off an upset.
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According to our racetrack odds, Gold Derby readers are predicting Pentatonix and Dolly Parton will win this year, giving them 2/7 odds for their rendition of Parton’s classic hit “Jolene.” In second place are Dierks Bentley and Elle King with 12/1 odds for their duet “Different for Girls.” Also with 12/1 odds, Pink is hoping to win her first Grammy in the country genre with Kenny Chesney for their song “Setting the World on Fire.” In fourth place are the aforementioned Brothers Osborne, with 18/1 odds for their single “21 Summer.” And rounding out the nominees with 66/1 odds are Chris Young and Cassadee Pope for their hit “Think of You.”
In 2012, The Civil Wars took home the first Grammy in this category for their song “Barton Hallow.” They won out over duets from Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson (“Don’t You Wanna Stay”), Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter (“You and Tequila”) and the group Thompson Square (“Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”).
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2013 saw Little Big Town taking home the award for “Pontoon” over the Eli Young Band (“Even if it Breaks Your Heart”), Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars (“Safe & Sound”), The Time Jumpers (“On the Outskirts of Town”), and Don Williams and Alison Krauss (“I Just Come Here for the Music”).
In 2014 the Civil Wars proved victorious once again with their single “From This Valley.” Similar to prior years their competition included a handful of major artists who came together for one-time collaborations. Included in that defeat were Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban (“Highway Don’t Care”), Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill (“Don’t Rush”), Little Big Town (“Your Side of the Bed”), and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton (“You Can’t Make Old Friends”).
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There was still no pattern change in 2015 when The Band Perry won their first Grammy in this category for “Gentle on My Mind.” Their victory over Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood (“Somethin’ Bad”), Little Big Town (“Day Drinking”), Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”) and Keith Urban featuring Eric Church (“Raise ‘Em Up”) only continued the trend.
Just last year Little Big Town took home the honors again for their smash hit “Girl Crush,” winning out over Brothers Osborne (“Stay a Little Longer”); Joey + Rory (“If I Needed You”); Charles Kelly, Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay (“The Driver”); and Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe (“Lonely Tonight”).
As someone who takes statistics very seriously when I put together my predictions, it is impossible to ignore the history of winners in this category. With such clear data, shouldn’t it be obvious that Brothers Osborne are the true frontrunners? If history is any indication of what is to come next weekend, consider this your chance to change your prediction now and earn major points when this upset occurs.
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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 winner are announced on Feb. 12. 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.