November 11, 2009 12:00 PM

Watch the CMA Awards

CBS Nov. 11, 8 p.m. ET/PT

Entertainer of the Year

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

George Strait

Taylor Swift

Keith Urban

WHO WILL WIN: Chesney, who took home the trophy four of the last five years, is going for a record fifth win, while Swift is the first female solo artist in nine years to get a nomination here, and Paisley is coming on strong. This could be a close one.

Female Vocalist of the Year

Miranda Lambert

Martina McBride

Reba McEntire

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood

WHO WILL WIN: Reba has a record four of these trophies, but neither she, Lambert nor Underwood had new CDs released during the eligibility period. McBride’s Shine is likely no match for Swift’s Fearless.

Male Vocalist of the Year

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

Darius Rucker

George Strait

Keith Urban

WHO WILL WIN: This is a highly competitive category, with only new-kid-on-the-block Rucker really out of the running. Chesney and Urban, though, have had better years. And while Strait is the class of the field, look for Paisley to repeat.

New Artist of the Year

Randy Houser

Jamey Johnson

Jake Owen

Darius Rucker

Zac Brown Band

WHO WILL WIN: Rucker is hardly a new artist—he picked up a Best New Artist Grammy with Hootie & the Blowfish back in 1996. Still, with a Nashville debut that spawned three consecutive No. 1 country singles, he’s almost a lock to win here.

Vocal Group of the Year


Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

Rascal Flatts

Zac Brown Band

WHO WILL WIN: Eagles aren’t considered real country, and the rest of the contenders just don’t have the multiplatinum muscle to knock off Rascal Flatts.

Vocal Duo of the Year

Big & Rich

Brooks & Dunn

Joey + Rory

Montgomery Gentry


WHO WILL WIN: Brooks & Dunn owned this category before Sugarland downsized to a duo. Now, after three wins in a row, it’s Sugarland’s to lose.

Album of the Year

(Award goes to artist and producer)

American Saturday Night

Brad Paisley

Produced by Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois

Arista Nashville

Defying Gravity

Keith Urban

Produced by Dann Huff and Keith Urban

Capitol Records Nashville

Fearless Taylor Swift

Produced by Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift

Big Machine Records

Love on the Inside Sugarland

Produced by Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles

Mercury Nashville

That Lonesome Song

Jamey Johnson

Produced by the Kent Hardly Playboys

Mercury Records

WHO WILL WIN: Although there is a chance Sugarland could sneak through, this is shaping up as a battle between Paisley and Swift. Fearless may be a little too pop for some voters, though, so we’re picking Paisley.

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