In our ongoing look at this week's 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards, we turn our attention to what could be one of the most competitive categories of the night -- Male Vocalist of the Year. The nominees are:
This year, you have the three top selling male acts of the format (Aldean, Bryan, and Church), as well as two acts that transcend the format right now. Shelton has raised his profile considerably with the ongoing success of "The Voice," and Urban seems poised to rise another notch with "American Idol." At the same time, both have continued to release compelling hit music to radio. Urban and Shelton are also multiple winners in this category, and it might be time for a little new blood. The key word is might.
Who Should Win: We think this comes down to a two-man race between Shelton - the incumbent, and Aldean. While Shelton might very well walk away with a few honors during the night -- "Over You" for Song of the Year with wife Miranda Lambert might very well take that prize -- look for Aldean to win his very first Male Vocalist trophy.
He's built his career slowly but surely, with the crescendo (so far) coming last week with a 400,000-plus sales tally. Simply, it's his time.
- Country