This is getting to be a habit. Miranda Lambert is vying for her 10th consecutive win as female vocalist of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Lambert’s nine-year hold on this award represents the longest continuous winning streak in this category in ACM history. Reba McEntire, the host of this year’s ACM show, is runner-up, with four consecutive wins (1984-87).
Lambert’s chief rival is probably her onetime duet partner Carrie Underwood, who took home that ACM prize three times immediately before Lambert began her streak. Underwood is a strong contender: She has won the equivalent prize at the CMA Awards two of the last three years.
The other ACM nominees for female vocalist of the year are Kacey Musgraves, who won four Grammys in February, including album of the year; Maren Morris, who received five Grammy nominations, and Ashley McBryde, who received a Grammy nom for best country album for her debut album, Girl Going Nowhere. None of these three women has yet won female vocalist of the year at the ACMs or the CMAs, so a victory here would be a major breakthrough.
No male vocalist has come close to Lambert’s nine-year award streak at the ACMs. Brad Paisley won male vocalist of the year five years in a row (2006-10), which is the record in that category.
Rascal Flatts won vocal group of the year seven years in a row (2002-08), the record in that category.
Brooks & Dunn is the only act that rivals Lambert’s hold on her category. Kix and Ronnie took top vocal duet (as the category was then known) six years in a row (1991-96), and even managed to win top vocal duo/group in 1997, when the ACM combined these two categories. They lost that combined duo/group award in 1998-99 to Dixie Chicks, and then, after the ACM mercifully ended its three-year experiment with streamlining, won top vocal duo another eight years running (2000-07).
Brooks & Dunn were the only duo nominated for the combined duo/group award in 1998-99, so it’s reasonable to conclude that if the ACM had simply left the duo category alone, Brooks & Dunn would have taken vocal duo of the year a stunning 17 years in a row.
The ACMs air April 7 live from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena at 8 p.m. EDT on CBS.