November 10, 2008 12:00 PM

The 42nd Country Music Association Awards will air live from Nashville Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Here, our inside take on the top categories.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

* Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Sugarland
Keith Urban

Bet on Chesney to lasso his third in a row (and fourth overall) in this category.

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
*Carrie Underwood

The American Idol has more chops than Swift and more clout than Lambert.

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
* Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban

It’s a toss-up with Jackson and Urban, but smells like Paisley, last year’s winner, will repeat.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride
Brooks & Dunn, Cowboy Town
* Alan Jackson, Good Time
Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
George Strait, Troubadour

In a battle of vets, Jackson edges Strait.

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