Dan and Shay have been waiting in the wings at the Country Music Association Awards for five years. That’s how long they have been consistently nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year without a single victory. But we think that will finally change this year: Dan and Shay get leading odds of 11/2 to prevail, according to the combined predictions of hundreds of Gold Derby users, but can they really overcome the two duos who have owned this category for the last half decade?
Florida Georgia Line won this race three years in a row (2013-2015), and then Brothers Osborne claimed the prize for the next two years (2016-2017). Dan and Shay have been nominated every year since 2014, which means they’ve lost twice to both of those rivals. FGL and Brothers Osborne are nominated again this year, and both look just as formidable as ever.
Brothers Osborne should be considered top contenders just from sheer inertia. Artists who win this award tend to do so over and over again, like The Judds (1988-1991), Brooks and Dunn (1992-1999, 2001-2006) and Sugarland (2007-2011). The brothers have only one other nomination this year, Musical Event of the Year for “Burning Man” with Dierks Bentley, so they don’t have widespread CMA support, but they nevertheless rank second in our predictions with 13/2 odds.
FGL also have 13/2 odds, and they’ve had a pretty big year. “Meant to Be,” their duet with Bebe Rexha, has been the biggest crossover country hit in years, peaking at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and setting a new record as the longest-running number-one hit on the Hot Country Songs chart. “Meant to Be” is up for Single of the Year and Musical Event of the Year, and it may help them reclaim their title here.
But Dan and Shay also had a big hit this year, “Tequila,” which earned them more total nominations (four) than anyone else in this category. “Tequila” picked up bids for Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year, which actually makes this the first time Dan and Shay have ever had multiple nominations in one year. And they released a new self-titled album in June, so the wind may be at their backs against the incumbents.
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.