ACM Previews

Tonight is the ACM awards.  Some of the nominations are pretty … questionable.  Some are well-deserved.  Before I offer my predictions, I’m going to go through the major categories and redo them if I had my druthers:

Song of the Year

Break Up in the End – Cole Swindell

Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton

Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha ft. Florida-Georgia Line

Space Cowboy – Kacey Musgraves

Tequila – Dan + Shay

Yours – Russell Dickerson

Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves both have great songs on here, though I may have gone with different singles for each.  “Yours” wan’t my cup of tea, but it’s a good song that’s hard to argue with it’s popularity.  The songs I scratched out are bad country, bad pop, and brain-cell killing country respectively.  Let’s replace them with:

All on Me – Devin Dawson

Get Along – Kenny Chesney

I Could Use a Love Song – Maren Morris

Honorable Mention: Round Here Buzz – Eric Church

Single of the Year (Has to be Top 20)

Down to the Honky Tonk – Jake Owen

Heaven – Kane Brown

Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha ft. Florida-Georgia Line

Most People are Good – Luke Bryan

Tequila – Dan + Shay

Let’s just be real here – These are all not-good songs.  Even “Most People Are Good” is staying here just because I hated to replace the whole category in this list.  “Heaven” is an OK single, but it’s not single-of-the-year material.  The rest are just downright bad.  Let’s add:

Legends – Kelsea Ballerini

Drowns the Whiskey – Jason Aldean ft. Miranda Lambert

Everything’s Going to Be Alright – David Lee Murphy ft. Kenny Chesney

Take Back Home Girl – Chris Lane ft. Tori Kelly

Honorable Mentions: Coming Home – Keith Urban ft. Julia Michaels, All Day Long – Garth Brooks

Album of the Year

Dan + Shay – Dan + Shay

Desperate Man – Eric Church

From a Room, Volume 2 – Chris Stapleton

Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

These are good nominees for the most part.  Dan+Shay is shallow, country-pop that is overrated, but the rest are very strong offerings.  Good job ACMs! I don’t get why we are limited to 4 nominees, though.  Let’s add:

Girl Going Nowhere – Ashley McBryde

Honorable Mention: Port Saint Joe – Brothers Osborne

New Duo or Group (Announced Winner in Bold)

High Valley

Lanco

Runaway June

No Complaints Here

New Male Artist (Announced Winner in Bold)

Jimmie Allen

Luke Combs

Jordan Davis

Michael Ray

Mitchell Tenpenny

I’ll tackle this after New Female Artist

New Female Artist (Announced Winner in Bold)

Danielle Bradbery

Lindsay Ell

Ashley McBryde

Carly Pearce

New Female Artist inexplicably got a whole nominee less than New Male Artist.  There’s no good reason for this, as there are several female artists who could have gotten a nomination here.  There’s two options.  First, we can drop Mitchell Tenpenny since nothing he’s done so far has been impressive.  Our other option is we can add Cam, Cassadee Pope, or RaeLynn to the Female list.

Group

Lady Antebellum

Lanco

Little Big Town

Midland

Old Dominion

No Complaints Here

Duo

Brothers Osborne

Dan + Shay

Florida Georgia Line

Locash

Maddie & Tae

No Complaints Here

Male Artist

Dierks Bentley

Luke Combs

Thomas Rhett

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

No Complaints Here

Female Artist

Miranda Lambert

Ashley McBryde

Maren Morris

Kacey Musgraves

Carrie Underwood

I love Miranda Lambert.  She is an incredible talent.  If we’re just going to look at 2018, though, she didn’t have any album releases and very few singles.  Kelsea Ballerini was somehow completely snubbed.  If we’re going to have a hard-cap of 5 nominees, Ballerini had several more higher-performing singles and a fairly recent album that should have given her an edge for one of these spots.

Let’s Add: Kelsea Ballerini

Entertainer

Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Kenny Chesney

Chris Stapleton

Keith Urban

This is tough, because while we need to fix the gender imbalance in Country Music, most of these artists released good records with several high-performing singles.  Since Bryan’s album released in 2017 and his singles weren’t as good as the others, I took him out.  Kacey Musgraves and Ashley McBryde both put out excellent albums that would make them EOTY worthy.

Lets Add:

Kacey Musgraves

Ashley McBryde

My Thoughts on the Actual Nominations

Song of the Year:

Should Win: Space Cowboy – Kacey Musgraves

Will Win: Tequila – Dan + Shay

Single of the Year:

Should Win: Most People are Good – Luke Bryan

Will Win: Down to the Honkytonk – Jake Owen

Album of the Year:

Should Win: Desperate Man – Eric Church

Will Win: Dan + Shay – Dan + Shay

New Duo or Group

Should Win: Runaway June

Won: Lanco

New Male Artist:

Should Win: Michael Ray

Won: Luke Combs

New Female Artist:

Should Win: Ashley McBryde

Won: Ashley McBryde

Group

Should Win: Midland

Will Win: Old Dominion

Duo

Should Win: Maddie & Tae

Will Win: Dan + Shay

Male Artist

Should Win: Chris Stapleton

Will Win: Keith Urban

Female Artist

Should Win: Kacey Musgraves

Will Win: Miranda Lambert

Entertainer

Should Win: Chris Stapleton

Will Win: Jason Aldean

 

 

Grammys Predictions + Thoughts

I’m not a deep Music connoisseur, so I’m not familiar with all of these artists.  I do have some favorites in the running, though.  I’m not going to guess for some of the obscure categories, though I have thoughts on the categories I’m more familiar with it.

Best Music Video

Who Should Win and Who Will Win: This is America – Childish Gambino

Best Song Written for Visual Media

Who Will Win: Shallow – A Star is Born

Who Should Win: All the Stars – Black Panther

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

Who Should and Will Win: The Greatest Showman

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

Who Will Win: Look Up Child – Lauren Daigle

Who Should Win: Survivor, Live from Harding Prison – Zach Williams

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

Who Will Win: You Say – Lauren Daigle

Who Should Win: Known – Tauren Wells

Best Country Album

Who Should and Will Win: Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

That said, there’s not a bad one in this bunch, and I would have no complaints with Ashley McBryde, Chris Stapleton, or Kelsea Ballerini winning.  The Brothers Osborne album was very good as well, but I wouldn’t put it quite at the level of these other releases.

Best Country Song

Who Should and Will Win: Space Cowboy – Kacey Musgraves

“When Someone Stops Loving You” from Little Big Town and “Dear Hate” from Maren Morris are fine as well.  The Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell, and Dan + Shay songs here are thoroughly meh.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Who Should and Will Win: Dear Hate – Maren Morris ft. Vince Gill

Little Big Town and Brothers Osborne also earn their nominations here.  FGL and Dan + Shay, well ….

Best Country Solo Performance

Who Will Win: Millionaire – Chris Stapleton

Who Should Win: Butterflies – Kacey Musgraves

This is a loaded category, though.  I would be fine with either of these two or Maren Morris winning.  Loretta Lynn and Keith Urban both have deserved nominations, as well.

Best Rap Album

Who Will Win: Invasion of Privacy – Cardi B

Who Should Win: Daytona – Pusha T

Best Rap Song

Who Will Win: God’s Plan – Drake

Who Should Win: King’s Dead – Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake

Best Rap/Sung Performance

Who Will and Should Win: This is America – Childish Gambino

That said, I wouldn’t complain if “All the Stars” wins here either.

Best Rap Performance

Who Will Win: Nice for What – Drake

“Kings Dead” would be fine here, as well.

Best Pop Vocal Album

Who Will Win: Sweetener – Ariana Grande

Who Should Win: Meaning of Life – Kelly Clarkson

I could also make arguments for Camila Cabello or Shawn Mendes here.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Who Should and Will Win: Say Something – Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake

Best New Artist

Who Will and Should Win: Margo Price

Song Of The Year

Who Will Win: All the Stars – Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA

Who Should Win: This is America – Childish Gambino (Though I’d be fine with All the Stars)

Album Of The Year

Who Will Win: Black Panther

Who Should Win: Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

Record Of The Year

Who Will Win: Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Who Should Win: This is America – Childish Gambino

All the Stars would be fine here as well, though.

General Thoughts

Post Malone should not be on these lists nearly as much as he is.  I can assure you “Rockstar” and “Beerbongs and Bentleys” are nowhere close to Record and Album of the year respectively.  To a lesser extent, Drake is overrated in the same categories.  Scorpion is decent, though not Album of the Year nomination worthy.  God’s Plan isn’t even anywhere close to the best song off it, though.

I like Maren Morris and realize you have to put some Pop in Record of the Year, but “The Middle” probably shouldn’t be there.  It is catchy, though.  From the other Pop Nominations, “Say Something”, “Girls Like You”, and “God is a Woman” were probably more deserving.

It will be interesting to see where Childish Gambino wins.  He has a ton of nominations, and I personally believe “This is America” is one of the best records of the year.  That would be one of the more politically charged Grammy winners, but it’s hard to argue with it winning.  Of course, Black Panther was top-notch as well, and the Grammys probably owe Kendrick every award he’s eligible for the rest of his life as justice for giving New Artist to Macklemore his year.