Wait, The 2021 CMA Awards Announced Their Nominees?

lol, wut? The 2021 CMA Award nominations were announced this morning? Did anyone have this on their calendar? No Robin Roberts pulling envelopes out of Dan + Shay’s seersucker jackets to reveal the nominees live on television? No Hoda Kotb mispronouncing the names for Vocal Event of the Year?

I guess the CMAs have truly turtled to the white women on Twitter indoctrinated at University who are simply using the institution of country music as a vehicle to renounce their “whiteness” and work towards tenure. The CMAs now see even the release of their nominations as an attack vector, and are basically just trying to get it over with. Oh how the great American awards show has fallen.

But you do have to give props to Ashley McBryde for scoring three deserved nominations, despite radio paying scant attention to her. Carly Pearce also picks up a couple of big nominations. The 2021 CMA Awards will be on November 10th on ABC. Here’s a run down.

Entertainer Of The Year

As it feels like we’ve been saying for a couple of years now, Luke Combs should win this. He is the biggest artist in country music at the moment and has been for a while, aside from the mulleted one. Chris Stapleton probably deserves this at some point too, so it could be his year. Church is the reining EOTY, but his recent triple album barely raised a whimper. You never can count out the ladies, but they’re both kind of out of their album cycles, though Carrie had a massive Christmas and Gospel record, so if it is one or the other, it would be her.

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

Album Of The Year

Alright, lots to say here. First, cool the see the Carly Pearce selection, but it was an EP, and she’s about to release the LP, so this just feels awkward. The Brothers Osborne album wasn’t only not country and not good, it was a commercial flop. It doesn’t deserve a nomination on any grounds, and we all know why it got one.

Did they play eenie meenie to choose what Eric Church album to nominate from the three album set? And of course, let’s all clutch our pearls that Morgan Wallen received a nomination for the biggest album to be released in the last many years. Go ahead and write seven more think pieces about it. I’m sure this time it will put a stop to all this, as opposed to helping to fuel the backlash that has ensconced this bloated album at the top of the charts for years to come.

This feels like a disjointed field with issues for all the nominees aside from Chris Stapleton.

29 – Carly Pearce
Dangerous: The Double Album – Morgan Wallen
Heart – Eric Church
Skeletons – Brothers Osborne

Starting Over – Chris Stapleton – WINNER

Female Vocalist Of The Year

Good to see some fresh blood here. Don’t get your hopes up that Ashley McBryde or Carly Pearce will win. It is cool to see them here, but this will be a race between the two ladies from Texas. “But how does Carrie not get nominated when she was nominated for Entertainer?” Ha! Quit trying to make any logical sense. This is the CMA Awards we’re talking about.

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

Male Vocalist Of The Year

It’s very likely Luke’s to lose, but we know how much the CMAs fawn over Stapleton. Big Machine will save their bloc votes behind Thomas Rhett for the ACMs.

Dierks Bentley
Eric Church
Luke Combs – WINNER
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Other Potential Winner

Vocal Group Of The Year

Kill me now. Midland is who you have to root for, but for some unusual reason, Old Dominion seems to be cemented in this spot. “But Trig, have you heard the new Zac Brown stuff ?!? He’s back!” Yeah, been fooled before. Still waiting and seeing ’till we hear the whole record.

Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion – WINNER
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo Of The Year

You get excited each year by seeing Brooks & Dunn and Maddie & Tae in this category, but this is only due to the CMA needing to fill this weak category out with warm bodies. It’s Dan + Shay’s to lose, with Brothers Osborne as the other potential winner … because well, you know.

Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne – Other Potential Winner
Dan + Shay – WINNER
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

New Artist Of The Year

It’s not just incorrect, it’s insulting to call Mickey Guyton a “New Artist,” and it will be even more insulting to her if she wins. In fact, none of these names should qualify. But do you really think voters are going to look at this and vote Hardy? Of course not. You get this ballot, and you do what you know will make Twitter happy so hopefully the larpers leave us along for a few weeks (Spoiler alert: they won’t).

Jimmie Allen
Ingrid Andress
Gabby Barrett
Mickey Guyton – WINNER

Musician Of The Year

Jenee Fleenor – Fiddle
Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar
Aaron Sterling – Drums
Ilya Toshinskiy – Banjo
Derek Wells – Guitar

Single Of The Year

Again these song awards really illustrate the depravity of today’s mainstream country music. Regardless of your taste, do any of these selections feel like iconic, defining songs of an era? Imagine a music world where these songs defined the best to be offered.

“Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
“The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett
“Hell Of A View” – Eric Church
“One Night Standards” – Ashley McBryde
“Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton

Song Of The Year (Award goes to Songwriter(s))

And here we see they can’t even delineate between what a Single of the Year and Song of the Year is supposed to be. It’s not that any of these songs are “bad.” But are you really going to award one of these songs in a category that counts songs like “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” “Behind Closed Doors,” “In Color” and “The House That Built Me” as alumni?

“Forever After All”
– Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford

“The Good Ones”
– Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick

“Hell Of A View”
– Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell

“One Night Standards”
– Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde

“Starting Over”
– Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

Musical Event Of The Year


“Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan
“Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
“Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King & Miranda Lambert
“Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
“Half Of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)

Music Video Of The Year


“Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
“Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
“Gone” – Dierks Bentley
“Half Of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
“Younger Me” – Brothers Osborne

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