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2014 ACM Awards Predictions

Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, George Strait
Pascal Le Segretain / Rick Diamond / Bob Levey, Getty Images

Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert lead the nominees for the 2014 ACM Awards, but can anyone come away with more than one honor during Sunday (April 6) night’s broadcast? We predict fans and the industry will spread the love, but ToC readers may disagree. They usually do.

Before every major awards show the ToC staff and readers square off to pick each of the major awards. This year the big awards are as unpredictable as ever. Will fans agree with CMA voters that George Strait should be Entertainer of the Year? Or should Luke Bryan take the honor, again?

On April 7 we’ll recap how we did. So far staff has a two to one historical edge, with one tie. No one here is bragging however. Typically choosing three of 10 awards correctly will score a win.

Read our predictions for winners at the 2014 ACM Awards and then decide who you think should win. Feel free to defend your choice in the comments section below.

Entertainer of the Year

Our Choice: – George Strait – Some years, picking an Entertainer of the Year is easy. Not this year. George Stait proved he’s the industry favorite at the 2013 CMAs, but the fan-vote element adds an unpredictable wrinkle. Luke Bryan would win in a year Strait wasn’t retiring — in fact all five nominees have a resume that’s deserving. We predict fans will buy into the King’s sentimental campaign.

Female Vocalist of the Year

Our Choice: Miranda Lambert – This will be Lambert’s fifth straight win in this category, and with a new album coming in June she could be in line for a sixth. Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift are her main challengers, but all three ladies are between albums right now. It’s a soft year for females, but Lambert’s accomplishments and popularity for the right reasons give her the edge.

Male Vocalist of the Year

Our Choice: Luke Bryan - Anyone voting for George Strait in the Entertainer category will vote for Bryan in the Male category. Add that with those voting for him in both and he’s a mathematical lock.

Vocal Group of the Year

Our Choice: The Band Perry - The ACM Vocal Group category is a toss-up, with four of the five having a fair chance to win. The exception is the Zac Brown Band, who the industry strangely ignores. Little Big Town are returning winners, but their success has slowed. We picked the Band Perry because they seem to have the most “heat” right now.

Vocal Duo of the Year

Our Choice: Florida Georgia Line - It’s not a good idea to bet on ACM Awards, but this one is a smart choice to throw a few sawbucks on. No one else in the category approaches their accomplishments. Anyone else winning would be the night’s biggest surprise.

New Artist of the Year

Our Choice: Justin Moore – This fan-voted category includes two newcomers and one veteran. Justin Moore has the edge because he’s been around longer, thus he has more fans. The ‘Point at You’ singer is playing stadiums while the others are opening. In addition, this singer has put together an impressive Vote campaign, with over a dozen major artists stumping for him.

Album of the Year

Our Choice: Blake Shelton, ‘Based on a True Story’ - Musically this is the best of the five choices, with Kacey Musgraves‘ and McGraw’s albums close behind. His popularity will help him seal this win. Shelton has quietly strung together an unbelievably strong string of hits.

Song of the Year

Our Choice: Lee Brice, ‘I Drive Your Truck’ - A win at the ACMs will make it a sweep for Lee Brice‘s hit. The beautiful story cut through a lot of clutter in 2013. Shelton and Lambert’s songs could also take this honor, but we like it for the South Carolina native.

Single Record of the Year

Our Choice: Darius Rucker, ‘Wagon Wheel’ - Technically, Single of the Year is based on production and the vocal performance, and the overall feel of a song. This was the year’s biggest hit, more than deserving of the Grammy win in the same category. ‘Cruise’ could take it, but for country fans that song was 2012′s biggest hit, not 2013′s.

Video of the Year

Our Choice: Tim McGraw, ‘Highway Don’t Care’ - All five are fine videos, but compared to this masterpiece from McGraw and director Shane Drake they’re amateur. The team turned in a mini-movie, making use of the singer’s vocals and acting chops. It was a beautiful interpretation of a beautiful song.

Next: Five More Things to Expect From the ACM Awards

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