Perfunctory Post on the 2022 ACM Awards Nominations

Shit!

No, not necessarily these nominations. Well, kind of the nominations as well. But the fact that by some obligatory sense of duty by the powers vested in me as the owner/operator of a country music website, I must convey the nominees of the 2022 ACM Awards, which have fallen so far down in relevancy they’re not even being televised on a major network anymore.

In 2022, the ACMs are being held at an Applebee’s like the Dundee’s from The Office, and are being streamed live on Morgan Wallen’s Rumble account.

Alright, that’s not true. They are being streamed online though, but on Amazon Prime. And that Applebee’s song is a big player in the nominations. As is Morgan Wallen, which will launch 1,000 more think pieces about how everything in country music is overtly racist in its entirety, while the rest of us want to just get back to hating on Morgan Wallen for his shitty music.

Yes, there are some bright spots in the nominations. But overall, they feel like just the same names, reshuffled among the major categories sort of eeny, meeny, miny, moe fashion, basically boiling down to a dart throw, with very little drama or intrigue.

Find some predictions and nominations below.


Entertainer Of The Year

Luke Combs should, and likely will win this. Biggest artist in country music without a mullet. Would be nice to see Stapleton win one of these at some point, so make him the dark horse.

Eric Church
Luke Combs – WINNER
Miranda Lambert
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood


Female Artist Of The Year

I’ll say this: It is good to see this category getting shored up over the last few years. Remember that run where they would nominate Kelly Clarkson each year just because there weren’t enough women actually making a living in mainstream country to nominate another?

Miranda is always the favorite here, but hopefully Carly Pearce gets a bit more than a passing consideration. It’s an off year for Maren Morris, she’ll be back next year. We all love Ashley McBryde, but she probably doesn’t have the gusto to pull this off. Gabby Barrett is your dark horse.

Gabby Barrett – Other Potential Winner
Miranda Lambert – WINNER
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris
Carly Pearce – Other Potential Winner


Male Artist Of The Year

Again, Luke’s to lose. But Big Machine always calls in its favors and horse trades Thomas Rhett to the top of the heap, so don’t be surprised if he comes out of nowhere. And of course, voters love to vote Stapleton. Wallen has no chance, neither does Jimmie. But it is cool to see Jimmie with the nomination.

Jimmie Allen
Luke Combs – WINNER
Thomas Rhett _Other Potential Winner
Chris Stapleton – Other Potential Winner
Morgan Wallen


Duo Of The Year

Quit teasing us by putting Brooks & Dunn in the mix. We know they’re not going to win, and you just need warm bodies to fill out this category. Brothers Osborne win, even though their last record was arena rock that sold terribly.

Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne – WINNER
Dan + Shay
LOCASH
Maddie & Tae


Group Of The Year

Old Dominion will win. Still can’t name a single song of theirs off the top of my head. Such an incredibly weak field. Lady A is as toxic as Morgan Wallen. Midland would be the actual country fan’s pick, but they just can’t can’t make more than a whimper in the mainstream.

Lady A
Little Big Town
Midland
Old Dominion – WINNER
The Cadillac Three


New Female Artist Of The Year 

I remember hanging out on a tour bus with Caitlyn Smith and Austin Lucas in the parking lot of Billy Bob’s Texas as part of the Country Throwdown/Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic in 2011. That was over a decade ago. “Best New Artist” Caitlyn Smith? This is just dumb.

Lainey Wilson should, and will win this.

Tenille Arts
Priscilla Block
Lily Rose
Caitlyn Smith
Lainey Wilson – WINNER


New Male Artist Of The Year 

Again, aside from Elvie Shane, none of these artists are “new” in any sense of the word, and it’s more an insult they would be nominated under this pretense than any honor they receive being nominated at all. Walker Hayes had a Top 40 song in 2010, and a Top 10 in 2017, and will win this.

HARDY
Walker Hayes – WINNER
Ryan Hurd
Parker McCollum
Elvie Shane


Album Of The Year

This is actually an interesting category, and everyone except Chris Young (Chris Young !?!) could win it. Critical favorites tend to fare well in this category, and both The Marfa Tapes and 29: Written in Stone are very strong in that regard. As mentioned before, Big Machine has a strong track record of going to bat for Thomas Rhett at the ACMs, so he can’t be counted out.

And if Morgan Wallen was going to win anything, it would be this. It’s not a personality contest, but a recognition of commercial/creative prowess, and Dangerous definitely displayed the former, while voters can say they’re honoring Wallen’s collaborators just as much as Wallen himself. Wide open field, and an interesting decision to make.

29: Written in Stone – Carly Pearce
Country Again: Side A – Thomas Rhett
Dangerous: The Double Album – Morgan Wallen
Famous Friends – Chris Young – WON’T WIN
The Marfa Tapes – Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall


Single Of The Year

If we actually considered this category as it’s supposed to be considered, “Fancy Like” would run away with this, because it was the most popular “Single” of the last year, or “Famous Friends” could win because it was the most-played song on radio in 2021. But what’s likely to happen is Stapleton wins it for no reason except he’s Stapleton, and this category continues to slip into irrelevance just like the awards themselves.

“Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan
“Famous Friends” – Chris Young and Kane Brown – Other Potential Winner
“Fancy Like” – Walker Hayes – Other Potential Winner
“If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood
“You Should Probably Leave” – Chris Stapleton – WINNER


Song Of The Year

If we actually considered this category as it’s supposed to be considered as a critically-acclaimed song that sets the pace for country music in a given year, Lainey Wilson’s “Things A Man Oughta Know” would win hands down. Have to say though, both “Buy Dirt” and Chesney’s “Knowing You” aren’t terrible songs either. Usually the “Single” and “Song” categories are exactly the same. Some begrudging kudos for shaking it up somewhat this year. And screw Walker Hayes and his Applebee’s commercial.

“7 Summers” – Morgan Wallen
“Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan
“Fancy Like” – Walker Hayes
“Knowing You” – Kenny Chesney
“Things A Man Oughta Know” – Lainey Wilson – SHOULD WIN


Video Of The Year

This is basically another song category these days. They’re all collaborations by labels hoping to double up on votes.

“Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King and Miranda LambertFamous “Friends” – Chris Young and Kane Brown
“I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version)” – Taylor Swift featuring Chris Stapleton
“If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood
“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde


Songwriter Of The Year

Jesse Frasure
Nicolle Galyon
Ashley Gorley
Michael Hardy
Josh Osborne


Music Event Of The Year

“Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan
“Famous Friends” – Chris Young and Kane Brown
“Half of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini featuring Kenny Chesney
“If I Didn’t Love You” – Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood
“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde

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