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Brian Dugger


Could be Musgraves’ time at CMAs


Brian Dugger.

The Blade
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It’s safe to say this year’s Country Music Association Awards show Nov. 6 could be one of the most surprising in recent memory.

Don’t believe me? Tell me who the leading nominee is for the show.

Sure, there’s Taylor Swift leading the way with six nominations. But Kacey Musgraves, who has never been nominated before and who released her debut album in March, also has six nominations.

Maybe you remember her from the fifth season of Nashville Star in 2007. If you do, you have a great memory because she only appeared briefly and finished seventh. In March, though, she caught the imagination of country fans with the release of her album, “Same Trailer Different Park,” which is packed with hard-hitting, traditional lyrics that the 7,000 voting members of the CMA love.

The CMAs should be Musgraves’ coming out party. Expect a huge jump in sales of her album in the days following the awards event, especially if she snags the award for best album.

Let’s start there when looking at some of the night’s most interesting categories.

Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, “Same Trailer Different Park”; Blake Shelton, “Based on a True Story”; Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”; Taylor Swift, “Red”; and Little Big Town, “Tornado.” If you look at pure sales figures, it’s not even close. Swift has sold more than 4 million copies. Shelton is the only one still in the Top 10 as his album closes in on 1 million copies. Musgraves hasn’t quite sold 300,000 copies. Prediction: Maybe it’s a stretch, but I really think Musgraves is going to take home this award.

Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan. Shelton has a stranglehold on this category. He’s won it the last three years. And it looks like he’s going to extend his streak. Prediction: Shelton.

Female Vocalist of the Year: Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift. Lambert has won this three straight years, which Underwood and Martina McBride have also done in recent years. However, it’s a lot tougher to win four straight. Reba McEntire is the only woman to do it since the CMA began handing out awards in 1967. Prediction: I actually think Underwood has the best shot to dethrone Lambert, and Musgraves is a dark horse, but based on the strength of her blockbuster single, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Lambert will make history.

. However … Prediction: Strait. He is on his farewell tour. He’s piled up 60 career No. 1 hits. What better way for the CMA to honor him?The VoiceEntertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, George Strait, Taylor Swift, and Blake Shelton. Aldean continues to put up impressive sales figures and has graduated to playing sold-out stadiums. Bryan has one of the top albums on the charts right now with “Crash My Party,” which has sold more than 1 million copies. Swift is not only selling out national stadiums, she’s selling them out around the world. Shelton won this category last year and is probably the most recognizable country singer at the moment because of Brian Dugger’s column on country music appears in The Blade the last Saturday of every month. Contact him or on Twitter @DuggerCountry.

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