By Radio.com Staff
Award shows: who doesn’t love them? The one-off performances, the emotional speeches, the impromptu moments, the red carpet fashion. And of course, in the weeks leading up to the event, there’s always the fun of predicting who will win, and who should win.
We decided to hit up our friends at Radio.com affiliate The Bull in Houston, and we asked their morning team — George, Mo, and Cowboy Dave aka “The Morning Bull” — to give their individual takes on the big categories in this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Over the course of the next few weeks, they’ll give their opinions on the ACMs most important awards in a special five-episode limited podcast series. In the first episode, they discussed Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.
Related: ACM Awards Announce 2017 Performers
“How does the Maren Morris/Miranda Lambert thing play out?” asked George about two of the dominant figures in this year’s list of nominees. Lambert is the beloved veteran with 23 career ACM wins — and she’s still at the peak of her career — and Morris is country music’s “rookie of the year.” The ladies are up against each other in two of the three categories discussed in this week’s episode.
For Single of the Year, the nominees are Morris’ “My Church,” Lambert’s “Vice,” Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.” and Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind.”
“As a man, people look at you weird if you tell them you like Florida Georgia Line,” George said when discussing “H.O.L.Y.” But he admitted: “I really liked this song… and I didn’t want to like this song.” However, Maren Morris, who recently won a GRAMMY for “My Church,” seems to have the momentum here, at least according to our experts. “How could you not love the story she told about being across the street at the bar [at last year’s ACMs] and this year she’s in the award show?” “I wish she would win,” Mo said, “And I think she will win.” But Lambert’s “Vice” — a pretty raw song about her life following her very public divorce is a strong contender as well.
The Song of the Year nominees are Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey and Steven Lee Olsen for Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color”; Joe Spargur, Sean Douglas and Thomas Rhett for Rhett’s own “Die a Happy Man”; Lori McKenna for Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind”; Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Luke Dick for Church’s “Kill a Word”; Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove for Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey”; and Josh Osborne, Miranda Lambert and Shane McAnally for Lambert’s “Vice.” In this category, the story behind Lambert’s “Vice” seemed to win over our team, although Church’s “Kill a Word” could also be in the running, as could Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.” As for Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” a song originally released by George Jones in 1983? “I think the Stapleton run ends here,” George says.
Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings and Maren Morris’ Hero go up against each other in Album of the Year; the other nominees are Dierks Bentley’s Black, Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots and Keith Urban’s Ripchord. George felt that Dig Your Roots changed the way he saw FGL, and will allow them to have a long career, and he sees them as the dark horse. But again, Morris and Lambert seem to be the frontrunners.
There’s really no consensus in any of these categories, though: listen to the full podcast below. Next week, our panel will look at the new artist awards: Best New Male Vocalist, Best New Female Vocalist and Best New Duo or Group.