Maren Morris battles Eric Church in 2019 CMA Awards race for Album of the Year: Who will win?

Maren Morris has more Country Music Association Award nominations than any other artist this year with six. And according to the combined predictions of hundreds of Gold Derby readers, that will translate to a win for Album of the Year for her second major label album, “Girl”: she gets leading odds of 11/2. But not all of our users agree. She faces a tough challenge from Eric Church for his sixth album, “Desperate Man.” Who do you think will win?

Morris has only won one CMA Award to date: New Artist of the Year in 2016. But since that breakthrough year she’s been a regular fixture at the event. She has been nominated a total of 16 times, including a previous Album of the Year bid for her major label breakthrough “Hero.” She lost that prize, but most derbyites think the association will make it up to her, including 17 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s CMAs, which gives their 2019 predictions greater weight in our odds.

But who did Morris lose to in 2016 when she was last nominated? None other than Church, who prevailed for “Mr. Misunderstood.” In fact, he won two of his last three nominations in the category; he also took home Album of the Year for “Chief” in 2012. You might think CMA voters would consider him duly rewarded after two victories, but the association doesn’t seem to mind repeat winners. In just the last 10 years Miranda Lambert and Chris Stapleton have also doubled up.

Winning more than twice is decidedly rarer, though. In fact, the only artists with more awards than that were Ronnie Milsap with four and record-holder George Strait with five. But five of our Top 24 Users think Church will achieve that rare three-peat, and he has one clear advantage over Morris in terms of nominations: he’s up for Entertainer of the Year, and she isn’t. Will he overtake the odds-on favorite?

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 winners are announced on November 13. 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.

More News from GoldDerby