In year’s past, the Male Vocalist of the Year award has been a good indicator of who has the best to win the Entertainer of the Year award.
That’s no different this year. Three of the five nominees in the category are also up for Entertainer of the Year.
Dierks Bentley is one of the two not nominated for the big award of the night. Bentley, however, brings two No. 1’s to the table from his last album, “Black.” The album’s title track didn’t do too bad either, peaking at No. 2 on the charts.
The other artist not nominated for Entertainer of the Year could be the surprise winner in the Male Vocalist Category. Thomas Rhett, who has had a whirlwind of a year between an album release, the birth of a daughter, and touring with Florida Georgia Line, could easily swoop down and win. Rhett brings has a No. 1 album and a No. 1 song to the table and the only country album to top the Billboard Top 200 charts this year.
For Eric Church, this is his sixth nomination for Male Vocalist of the year. He’s never won the award. His last album was released in 2015 when it was surprisingly sent out to members of his fan club. The latest single, “Round Here Buzz” peaked at No. 13 on the charts earlier this year.
Last year’s winner, Chris Stapleton, brings a lot to the table this year, too. He has another No. 1 album and a slew of top 20 songs. The album, From a Room, sold more copies through July than any other record. So far, the album has sold more than 500,000 copies. It’s also critically acclaimed, ranking in Rolling Stones top 10 albums of the year in early 2017. If he wins, Stapleton would be the first artist to win the award three times in a row since Blake Shelton did it.
Finally, what is the Male Vocalist of the Year category without Keith Urban? The New Zealand born artist is looking for his fourth win in his 13th nomination. Urban is still feeling the success from his early 2016 album, Ripcord. The two latest singles from that album, “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and “The Fighter” have both soared to the top of the charts. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” stayed at the top of the charts for 12 weeks.
You can watch the CMA Awards on ABC at 8/7 CST. Before the show, watch our CMA Awards Red Carpet Special.