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GRAMMY CHEW: COUNTRY AND THE BIG FOUR

Which Nashville artists are most likely to have a shot at Grammy’s Big Four categories? We’re glad you asked. We think the recent ACM Awards have clarified the positions of several country acts.

Luke CombsWhat You See Is What You Get gets a boost for Album of the Year nom after an ACMs album win and other strong looks at the Nashville trophyfest. Of all the country acts that have seen success over the last year, Combs is likely the strongest candidate for AOTY.

Mickey Guyton’s career breakout on the ACMs pushes her into the front ranks; her historic performance of “What Are You Gonna Tell Her” marked the first time a Black female country artist performed her own work on the show. This, along with her performance of “Black Like Me” on Today, also gives Guyton big momentum toward a Best New Artist nod. Other possible BNA contenders from Music City include Gabby Barrett and streaming marvel Morgan Wallen.

For Record and/or Song, Maren Morris’ “The Bones,” Barrett’s “I Hope” and Miranda Lambert’s “Bluebird” could all get a shot. Another ROTY possibility:Dan + Shay’s “10,000 Hours" f/Justin Bieber was a full-on smash by any measure. Other SOTY possibilities:  Kane Brown's “Worldwide Beautiful," an idealistic anthem that fits the moment; Eric Church’s confrontational “Stick That in Your Country Song" (though whether it's had enough time to build momentum remains unclear); and the Blake Shelton-Gwen Stefani domestic-bliss duet “Nobody But You.” 

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