2017 Billboard Music Awards Prediction: Top Country Album
Albums from Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line were huge, and songs from Keith Urban's Ripcord cover country radio, but another country album will win the Billboard Music Award on Sunday (May 21).
The 2017 winner for Top Country Album will be Chris Stapleton's Traveller album. While the official reporting period to determine BBMA winners is March 18, 2016 to March 16, 2017, if you look at the top selling albums of 2016 you get a pretty good idea of who is out front. Billboard Music Awards winners are based on actual data, according to Billboard. However, the math can be fuzzy because it's not clear what special combination of sales, streaming and social engagement is used in each category. The formula isn't public.
Still, Stapleton's Traveller is by far the No. 1 selling country album of 2016, on the verge of going double Platinum for two million units sold (since a May 2015 release). Shelton's If I'm Honest was No. 3 (Joey + Rory's Hymns wasn't nominated) and the other nominees were further down the list.
See the Best Albums of 2017, So Far
FGL are the best streaming artist of the bunch, at No. 2 in terms of country music (using 2016 data), but that won't be enough to overcome Stapleton (No. 5). Dig Your Roots was the 11th best selling country album of 2016, and through the first three months of 2017 they haven't made up that much ground.
Jason Aldean's They Don't Know is the fifth nominee, ranking 12th in sales in 2016. It was a strong year for the Taste of Country Music Festival headliner but he's unlikely to come away with much BBMA hardware.
The 2017 Billboard Music Awards air live on ABC on May 21 at 8PM ET.
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