With tonight's CMA Awards on the horizon in just a few hours, I thought I'd take a moment to choose who I'd like to see win.
There are some standout nominees this year in a few categories. In others, I don't even have a choice because no one decent is nominated.
I would give Entertainer Of The Year to Blake Shelton. I have never seen him in concert, however, based on the choices in this category, he is the best musically.
Male Vocalist Of The Year is a toss up between Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Both amazing vocalists, both deserve to win. Luke has had a huge year (and has the whitest teeth in country music), but Blake has had some major hits, as well. If I had to pick just one, though, it would be Blake.
Female Vocalist Of The Year...there's no question to my allegiance to Miranda Lambert, she's my #1 pick. The other ladies in this category are also fantastic vocalists, but Miranda never fails to please with her songwriting, fiery stage presence, and just plain kick-ass persona.
One of the closest categories this year is the Vocal Group Of The Year. All of the nominees have had huge songs but my pick is the Eli Young Band. They had one of the biggest songs of the year with "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." They're from Texas, their music rocks, they haven't forgotten their Texas roots, they represent what's awesome right now in mainstream country music.
My choice for Vocal Duo Of The Year goes to Sugarland. They haven't had much going on lately but Jennifer Nettles has one of the best female voices in the genre.
New Artist Of The Year....formerly known as the Horizon Award...and formerly had some amazing nominees/winners. This year I'm very disappointed in the choices. I don't care for any of the artists nominated and do not own any of their albums. Former winners include Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Dixie Chicks, Randy Travis, and Mark Chesnutt. I don't know if this year's crop nominated is the future of country music, but if it is, thank goodness for Texas/Red Dirt/Americana music.
"Four The Record" by Miranda Lambert is without a doubt one of the best albums this year and my pick for Album Of The Year. There isn't a bad song in this collection of tunes.
When I think of Single Of The Year, I think of a more fun song, as opposed to Song Of The Year, which is more about the songwriting. Given the choices nominated, my pick for Single is "Pontoon" by Little Big Town. It was a big hit for LBT, a fun Summer anthem that everyone embraced.
"Even If It Breaks Your Heart" by the Eli Young Band is by far my choice for Song Of The Year. The lyrics alone make this a standout song, I was in love the first time I heard the opening line, "Way back on the radio dial....A fire got lit inside a bright-eyed child..." Written by Will Hoge and Eric Pasley, EYB put their unique sound to the beautiful lyrics and now those of us who have felt this way since childhood have an anthem to sing along to.
Musical Event Of The Year has already been awarded to Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney for "Feel Like A Rock Star." Not too many great choices to be had here. Is "Oh, Tonight" by the Josh Abbott Band and Kacey Musgraves too old to be nominated? That would be my choice.
Lastly, we have Video Of The Year, which has also already been awarded to "Red Solo Cup" by Toby Keith. Miranda Lambert's "Over You" is the most beautiful of the nominees. It's a sad song but the video reminds us there is always hope. The stunning white horse in the video makes it winner enough for me.
I'm looking forward to watching the awards tonight, as always, and I'll be rooting big time for the Texas artists, Miranda Lambert and Eli Young Band. They will show the rest of the country what REAL music is.