There’s an old saying that everything is bigger in Texas. The world of country music will get a taste of that Lone Star hospitality as the 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be held this coming Sunday from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Billboard takes a look at the top five categories and makes our predictions for which artists will be doing some serious celebrating.
The Lowdown: Aldean has won the trophy the past couple of years, and it’s certainly within the realm of possibility for him to win again. But, the competition is rather fierce. Bryan and Shelton are two of the format’s biggest stars, as proven by their co-host status. Church is a critical and fan favorite, and Paisley is always a threat, though maybe not as strong of one as this year.
Who Will Win: Seeing how the ACM seems to give an artist their first recognition in a category at times, we’re going to go out on a limb and say Dierks Bentley, who has enjoyed one of the biggest years of his career, will earn the trophy.
The Lowdown: Despite a talented crop of artists, it’s fairly obvious that this is a two-woman race between Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. Carrie Underwood enjoyed what very might well be one of the defining singles of her career with her hit “Something In The Water,” which could return her to the winners’ circle. But...
Who Will Win: That being said, it’s tough to pick against someone who's earned the honor five years in the running. We're betting on Miranda Lambert...by that much.
The Lowdown: None of these songs seemed to outpace the others on the charts, so they're on equal footing there. But, Lee Brice has demonstrated an ability to shine through against formidable competition.
Who Will Win: We expect Brice to dance his way to the top of this category.
Album of the Year:
Old Boots, New Dirt / Jason Aldean
Pain Killer / Little Big Town
Platinum / Miranda Lambert
Riser / Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders / Eric Church
The Lowdown: Aldean has long been an ACM fave, Bentley and Little Big Town both made a lot of noise with their releases, and Church managed to appeal to his fanbase while picking up new ones.
Who Will Win: Lambert’s past three discs took home this prize….and Platinum is as good as those discs, if not better. Get your speech ready, Miranda!
Entertainer of the Year:
Florida Georgia Line
The Lowdown: This category is determined by fans and each artist has a devoted fanbase. Which fan army is more Internet-savvy -- and will go the online distance win the prize for their artist?
Who Will Win: Luke Bryan will likely have a busy night between co-hosting and winning this honor.