ACM Awards 2013: Who Will Walk Away With Biggest Honors?

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert perform at the Stagecoach Festival in 2012

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

The 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on Sunday. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan will host the festivities live over the CBS Television Network. Who will walk away with the evening’s biggest honors? Predicting awards shows is never easy, but we will put on our prognosticator’s cap, and give you our thoughts on the four top categories.

Single Record of the Year (Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company)

  • Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville) 
Produced by: Mike Wrucke
  • Over You - Miranda Lambert (RCA)
 Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf
  • Pontoon - Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville) 
Produced by: Jay Joyce
  • Springsteen - Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)
 Produced by: Jay Joyce
  • Wanted - Hunter Hayes (Atlantic/WMN)
 Produced by: Hunter Hayes, Dann Huff

OUR THOUGHTS: All five were huge hits at country radio, so it would suffice to say that either one of these would have a shot at this award. However, going out on a limb here, it’s worth noting that the ACM likes to be the first to award an artist in a certain category. That being said – the undeniable appeal of one of Country’s top new artists combined with the biggest cross-over hit of the bunch leads to the crowning of this year’s winner!

OUR PICK: Hunter Hayes' "Wanted"


Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Taylor Swift 
  • Carrie Underwood

OUR THOUGHTS: It looks very tough to pick this one, doesn’t it? You have five very talented ladies vying for this one. At the end of the night, Musgraves – who could very well be a perennial nominee here in the future – is the ‘newbie’ here, and McBride hasn’t had the chart success of the others in the category during the past year. So, that leads us to Miranda, Taylor, and Carrie. It doesn’t look like the ‘incumbent’ has done anything to lose this one, so we say that the Lambert / Shelton household needs to have a new spot on the mantle.

OUR PICK: Miranda Lambert


Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Toby Keith
  • Blake Shelton

OUR THOUGHTS: Toby Keith returning to the nominee’s list was something of a surprise, but "Red Solo Cup" really propelled him back to the spotlight in a big way. Luke and Eric have seen their stature grow in the business, and Shelton continues to be quite possibly the most well-known act in the mainstream media right now. But, as we said earlier, the ACM likes the set a precedent, and the heart and soul of Broken Bow Records has been working toward this since 2005.

OUR PICK: Jason Aldean


Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Blake Shelton
  • Taylor Swift

OUR THOUGHTS: This is where the night gets interesting. One can make a valid argument for either one of the five. Aldean has the stage show, Bryan has grown as a performer, and he’s one of the biggest-selling acts in the format. Shelton has “The Voice,” and Lambert continues to shine in person and on record. But, 1.2 million records sold the first week does not lie, and I have a feeling that many of those 1.2 million have voted in this one, as the fans help decide this category. And the winner is...

OUR PICK: Taylor Swift

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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