2018 CMAs: Could Country's New Class Cause an Upset at Awards?

2018 CMAs: Could Country's New Class Cause an Upset at Awards?


Wednesday evening’s (Nov. 14) present may function a brand new technology of winners.

The Country Music Association Awards are usually pretty predictable so far as winners go, however may this yr be completely different? Can the brand new class of nation artists upset the longtime favorites on Wednesday (Nov. 14)? The well-researched music writers of The Associated Press weigh-in on predictions.

Chris Stapleton is the highest contender with 5 nominations, however past that, the sector is widespread. Nine different artists all have three nominations every, together with Chris Janson, Dan + Shay, Midland and Thomas Rhett. The present, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, airs dwell on ABC from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. 

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban.

KRISTIN HALL: Jason Aldean was on the stage throughout the nation’s worst mass taking pictures final yr in Las Vegas. He has develop into a logo for restoration for hundreds grieving over the previous yr and introduced collectively the nation music group.

MESFIN FEKADU: Where my women at? Truly bummed to not see a feminine or a bunch with girls on this epic class. But I digress. Yes, Kristin, you’re proper about Jason, he’s a courageous soul and he had one other nice yr in nation music. However, I feel it’s time the CMAs give this honor to Chris Stapleton, who has been a beast on this music business ever since he had his breakthrough second on the CMAs stage in 2015. And earlier than then, he labored tirelessly behind-the-scenes and now could be the time for the nation music world to actually spotlight his artistry and laborious work.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR: From A Room: Volume 2, Chris Stapleton; Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves; Graffiti U, Keith Urban; Life Changes, Thomas Rhett; and The Mountain, Dierks Bentley.

FEKADU: Kacey Musgraves not solely had the perfect nation album of the yr, she is within the race for the BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR. Maybe the BEST ALBUM OF ALL-TIME (stated in Kanye voice). OK, I’m kidding concerning the final one. But critically, Golden Hour is really a ravishing, heat and particular album that reveals Kacey’s development and pure capacity to tackle new sounds. She deserves this award.

HALL: Kacey’s creativity actually shines on this report and it might be nice to see the only real lady on this class win this award. But I’m not going with the protected guess, which might be Stapleton successful this class a second time in a row. Thomas Rhett put out a very private album about his rise to fame, his social media-famous household and his life, and he did it his method by incorporating all of the kinds and genres he loves. It’s not a conventional nation album, however his songs join with folks and that’s necessary.


SINGLE OF THE YEAR: “Broken Halos,” by Chris Stapleton; “Drinkin’ Problem,” by Midland; “Drowns the Whiskey,” by Jason Aldean that includes Miranda Lambert; “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line; and “Tequila” by Dan + Shay.

HALL: I can’t assist myself however to sing alongside to “Meant to Be” each time I hear it. But “Tequila” is equally catchy and invokes a way of place and the sensation of a misplaced love. In a contest of earworms, I desire the songcraft of “Tequila.”

FEKADU: I feel I bought drunk simply studying the nominees. I do know some discredit “Meant to Be” as a result of they really feel it’s actually a pop music, however you’ll be able to’t deny its large success and worldwide attraction. I feel as a result of it’s such a monster hit — it’s in all probability bought extra information than the opposite 4 nominees mixed — it can win right here. Plus, after years and years of attempting, the music will give Florida Georgia Line its first Grammy nomination of their profession when they’re introduced subsequent month.


MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Dierks Bentley, Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban.

FEKADU: Chris Stapleton has received this award the final three years and nothing modifications on Wednesday evening.

HALL: Can the CMA simply give the award to Stapleton early within the present? No one desires to be the fellows going up in opposition to him on this class, however for the sake of argument, Luke Combs has proven himself to be an incredible younger singer who has a whole lot of energy in his voice. If anybody can unseat Stapleton, it would take this humble newcomer that has received over a whole lot of followers.


FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood.

HALL: Maren Morris is just like the little engine that might. She concurrently hit the nation charts with “Rich,” crossed over to pop/EDM with the Zedd collab “The Middle,” and toured with Niall Horan. She’s all over the place!

FEKADU: If I have been voting, Maren would positively have my vote! But since 2006 this award has solely gone to Carrie and Miranda (except Taylor Swift successful in 2009). And I don’t suppose the CMAs will swap it up, and Carrie will take this one dwelling.