ACM Awards 2014 – Nomination Predictions: Who will earn major recognition?

49th ACM Awards logo

The ACM Awards nominations are only a few days away (Wednesday, January 29), and I thought it would be a great time to break out my crystal ball and take a stab at predicting the future. Considering Kacey Musgraves has become the industry's new "it" girl, I predict she'll get the most nods.

Coming off the Best New Artist win at the 2013 CMA Awards and two accolades at last night's (Jan. 26) Grammys — she took home Best Country Song (for "Merry Go 'Round") and Best Country Album (for "Same Trailer Different Park") — she is seen as the new shiny female, and rightfully so. Her music is thoughtful, commericially viable without compromising artistic integrity.

Also, I'm sure Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw will get plenty of love.

Here are my predictions:

Entertainer of the  Year

Taylor Swift

Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Blake Shelton

Carrie Underwood (Yes, I know this is a longshot, but it could happen!)

(George Strait, who won Entertainer at the 2013 CMA Awards, or Miranda Lambert will probably be swapped out instead of Carrie.)


Male Vocalist of the Year

Blake Shelton

Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Keith Urban

Tim McGraw

(Hunter Hayes might be able to squeeze out a nom here, too. He's up against some stiff competition, though.)


Female Vocalist of the Year

Carrie Underwood

Miranda Lambert

Taylor Swift

Kacey Musgraves

Kelly Clarkson

(That fifth slot could, honestly, go to anyone. Cassadee Pope could actually slip in here, too.)


Vocal Duo of the Year

Florida Georgia Line

Thompson Square

Love & Theft

The Civil Wars

Big & Rich

(Is this really a contest, though?)


Vocal Group of the Year

Little Big Town

The Band Perry

Lady Antebellum

Eli Young Band

Zac Brown Band

(This category is pretty even this year.)


Song of the Year

"Mama's Broken Heart,"  Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves (Miranda Lambert)

"Wagon Wheel," Bob Dylan & Keth Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show (Darius Rucker)

"Cruise," Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard, Joey Moi, Chase Rice & Jesse Rice (Florida Georgia Line)

"I Drive Your Truck," Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary (Lee Brice)

"Like Jesus Does,"  Casey Beathard and Monty Criswell (Eric Church)

(Last year was a mixed bag, but "I Drive Your Truck," "Mama's Broken Heart" and "Wagon Wheel" are the sure bets to get nods.)


Single Record of the Year

"Cruise," Florida Georgia Line

"That's My Kind Of Night," Luke Bryan

"Mama's Broken Heart," Miranda Lambert

"Wagon Wheel," Darius Rucker

"I Drive Your Truck," Lee Brice

(Typically, the largest commerical hits get the voters' attention. This is FGL's to lose. "Highway Don't Care" could potentially take Luke's spot.)


Album of the Year

"Same Trailer Different Park," Kacey Musgraves

"Two Lanes Of Freedom," Tim McGraw

"Pioneer," The Band Perry

"Crash My Party," Luke Bryan

"Based On A True Story…," Blake Shelton

(Other possibilities: Gary Allan, Brad Paisley, The Civil Wars)


Music Video of the Year

"We Were Us," Miranda Lambert & Keith Urban

"Highway Don't Care," Tim McGraw, Keith Urban & Taylor Swift

"Cruise," Florida Georgia Line

"I Drive Your Truck," Lee Brice

"Wagon Wheel," Darius Rucker

(I always find this category hard to pinpoint. Sometimes, it mirrors Single Record and Song categories…sometimes not.)


Vocal Event of the Year

"We Were Us," Miranda Lambert & Keith Urban

"Boys Round Here," Blake Shelton & Pistol Annies

"You Can't Make Old Friends," Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton

"Highway Don't Care," Tim McGraw, Keith Urban & Taylor Swift

"Cruise," Florida Georgia Line & Nelly

 (Another one I'm shaking on. I would love Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "You Can't Make Old Friends" to slide right in.)


New Artist of the Year

Voting for this category doesn't end till Feb. 4

Kacey Musgraves

Kip Moore

Lee Brice

(I'm thinking Kacey is in the lead here.)


Like this story? What are your nomination predictions? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter. Of course, feel free to email me to keep the conversation going.