NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – From past winners Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire, to up-and-comers dominating the charts, the Female Vocalist of the Year category is stacked with talent this year.
The favorite to win is one of those newcomers.
Maren Morris is coming off a big win at last year’s awards when she took home the New Artist of the Year award. She’s followed up that win with collaborations with Thomas Rhett and Vince Gill and her past three singles have all made their way into the top 15.
Miranda Lambert, who won the award six times in the last seven years, is also nominated. Her latest album, Weight of These Wings, took home the Academy of Country Music award for Album of the Year earlier this year. The album has been certified platinum and made it all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts after its release.
Reba, who has won the award four times and was first nominated in 1983, is also back in the thick of things this year. Her latest album, a gospel record, features many other country stars and made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts shortly after its release. While odd-setters would consider her a longshot, most in the country music world know better than to count out Reba.
Tennessee native Kelsea Ballerini just released her newest album Nov. 3, just a few days before this award will be handed out. She has charted two top-10 songs since over the last year and has other singles that are climbing the charts right now.
Finally, last year’s winner could easily repeat this year. Carrie Underwood won her fourth female vocalist of the year award last year and her first since 2008. Despite not putting out an album since 2015, she’s still one of the country’s most played artists on the airwaves. She announced earlier this year she is working on a new album that should be released in 2018. No matter if she wins or not, she’ll be busy all night with hosting the show.
You can watch the CMA Awards on ABC at 8/7 CST. Before the show, watch our CMA Awards Red Carpet Special.