Charlie Cook On Air: Who Will Win a CMA Trophy?

Charlie Cook

Charlie Cook

I like it when the critics, picking the Academy Awards and Emmy winners, say, “should win and will win.” This way they can voice their opinion, chastise the voters and still have all angles covered. Quite brilliant actually.

Not being quite brilliant myself, I am only going to tell you who I think is going to win next Wednesday night. Not necessarily my choices. I voted but failed to print off my choices so I really don’t remember who I picked.

Musical Event of the Year: “Cruise” was the most played of all of the nominees because of the Pop plays but I believe “Highway Don’t Care” is going to take the trophy. Three format superstars and a great song combine to make this tune the winner. The performance on the ACM show and the CMA Music Fest doesn’t hurt either.

Vocal Duo of the Year: Hmmm, let me think about this one. Florida Georgia Line? Unquestionably one of the best years in the format. Eighteen months ago they were playing free stages and today they sell out in minutes.

Vocal Group of the Year: The best competition of the entire night. All five acts had great years. Any of the five could win and the only surprise would be any one of the other four didn’t. I think it is going to be…heck…I am not totally committed to this…okay, The Band Perry.

Male Vocalist of the Year: I am not sure there is any way to stop Luke Bryan this year. Again, the format has abundant riches in this category. So much so that two of the formats biggest stars, Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney, are not nominated here. This might be even more difficult to pick than the Group of the Year when I think about it.

Female Vocalist of the Year: I believe any one of three could win this award and any of the three would be a fine choice but I think Miranda Lambert continues her winning streak.

Song of the Year: This one goes to the writers. In all five cases there are at least two writers per song, and on four of the songs there are three writers. To those of you who have always wanted to write a hit song my suggestion would be to make sure you have a couple of friends. It seems like “Pontoon” has been around forever. That is because it has been around forever. At least since April of 2012, when it started getting radio play. It has already won awards and I believe that continues next Wednesday night.

Album of the Year: John Esposito and the WB staff have played the Based on a True Story CD like they were setting it up to win this award. I believe they did a great job doing just that. They will be rewarded for those efforts next week.

Single of the Year: I believe this comes down to the same two songs in the Musical Event of the Year and I think it is going to come out the same way.

Entertainer of the Year: The definition of this award is always in the voter’s eye. Some voters probably take into account touring, music sales, radio airplay and stature in the industry. This year is pretty tough to decipher. All five acts had hugely successful live shows. Will George Strait receive the award because of that and because we all know his touring is coming to an end next year? Blake is the most visible act with The Voice being one of TV’s most watched shows and he is the star of the show. His tour was great and sold out every stop.

Jason Aldean broke records this summer and has been on the radio continuously all year. Taylor is Taylor. She is the music industry’s number one star.

The wild card here is that the CMA EOY award is not fan-voted, like the ACM EOY award is, and if it was I would easily pick Luke Bryan to repeat from this spring’s Academy show. Earlier I said I didn’t think there was any way to stop the Luke train and I believe he is going to win the night’s biggest prize. This time he will not be surprised.

This is going to be a great show and I hope that, if you’re not there in person, you’re watching ABC-TV at 8p.m. ET and Pacific and 7p.m. CT Wednesday night.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MusicRow.)

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