One year ago, Brett Eldredge was a country newcomer and Chris Stapleton was a country "Who?!" Few would have mentioned either in a conversation for Country's Top Vocalist, but both are — arguably — frontrunners in this month-long competition to determine the best of 2016.

Fans get to decide country music's top vocalist in this competition. Sixteen singers (eight men, eight women) were split into two brackets and paired off for four rounds of voting that will wrap up in early April. The artist with the most votes in the final round will win the title of Country's Top Vocalist of 2016.

Stapleton is the hot name entering the ACM Awards in Las Vegas. Coming off of Grammy and CMA wins, the "Nobody to Blame" singer is being called the best in the business by media and his peers, but do ToC readers agree?

Eldredge burst onto the scene in 2010 with "Raymond," but has shown more range with recent chart-toppers like "Lose My Mind" and "Beat of the Music." He's now among the biggest voices in country music, and his affinity for Frank Sinatra songs finds him leading a movement to restore the country vocalist as the king of the genre.

Vote up to once every hour until this round closes on March 13 at 11:59PM ET. The winner of this Round 1 matchup will move on to face either Trace Adkins or Randy Houser.