2012 ACM Award for New Artist of the Year – Hunter Hayes
Hunter Hayes may be the new artist with the most exciting upside. His debut album is full of sharp, powerful songs from his heart and pen. He's a musical virtuoso, but comes across as nothing but grateful for every individual fan he's earned since releasing 'Storm Warning' in 2011.
He will win if: The caveat with the fan-voted awards at this year's ACMs is that they aren't entirely decided by fans. Industry voters still have a say on who gets to give an acceptance speech. So Hayes' best shot is to hope his fans vote daily and he's won enough friends in and around Nashville.