The country field is highly competitive this year. However, it is Miranda Lambert and Eric Church who dominate the field as they are in for all of the four categories. Let’s now take a look at the odds in each of these categories:
Best Country Performance
- Carrie Underwood — Something in the Water
- Miranda Lambert — Automatic
- Eric Church — Give Me Back My Hometown
- Hunter Hayes — Invisible
- Keith Urban — Cop Car
Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water” is the front-runner for the Best Country Solo Performance. Underwood won this category in 2013 for “Blown Away”. She also won the now defunct Best Country Female Vocal Performance category a total of three times. Closely following Underwood is Miranda Lambert with “Automatic”, whose only GRAMMY win also comes from the Female Country category for her hit single “The House That Built Me” in 2011. She was also nominated last year for “Mama’s Broken Heart”.
The men in this category have less chances at winning. Eric Church, who is nominated in all of the four categories of the country field, is up with “Give Me Back My Hometown”. Church is yet to win a GRAMMY. Rounding up the line-up are Hunter Hayes for “Invisible” and 4-time GRAMMY winner, Keith Urban for “Cop Car”.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
- Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood — Somethin’ Bad
- Tim McGraw & Faith Hill — Meanwhile Back At Mama’s
- Little Big Town — Day Drinking
- The Band Perry — Gentle On My Mind
- Keith Urban & Eric Church — Raise ‘Em Up
This year might be the first time a collaboration wins this award as the runaway winners here could be Miranda Lambert in duet with Carrie Underwood for “Somethin’ Bad”. Lambert is one of the most nominated artists this year, with four nods across the country field and Underwood won the defunct Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2010 for “I Told You So” with Randy Travis. Another collaboration is also a favourite to win; and that is husband and wife, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for the emotive “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”. The same pair won the former Collaboration category twice in 2001 and 2006 and were nominated another three times.
However unlike in the pop field, the GRAMMY award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance has been won by groups only. Little Big Town, who are up with “Day Drinking”, are the only former winners contending this year. They won for their hit single “Pontoon” in 2013 and are now threatening the aforementioned collaborations. With lesser chances at winning are The Band Perry for the Glen Campbell-cover “Gentle on My Mind” and another collaboration; Keith Urban and Eric Church for “Raise ‘Em Up”.
Best Country Song
- Automatic by Nicole Galyon, Natalie Hemby & Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert)
- I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell)
- Give Me Back My Hometown by Eric Church & Luke Laird (Eric Church)
- Meanwhile Back At Mama’s by Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston & Jeffrey Steele (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
- American Kids by Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird & Shane McAnally (Kenny Chensey)
There are two favourites to take home the Country songwriters’ award: “Automatic” and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”. The first, performed by Miranda Lambert, won the CMA Award for Single of the Year. And as mentioned above, Lambert is nominated across the country field. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (from the film Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me) by 5-time GRAMMY winner, Glen Campbell and his friend, Julian Raymond is also up for Best Song Written for Visual Media becoming the only song to receive two songwriting nominations this year.
The rest of the nominees don’t stand high chances. Luke Laird and Eric Church are nominated for the first time for “Give Me Back My Hometown”. Laird has a second nomination for the Kenny Chensey-performed song “American Kids” alongside last year winner, Shane McAnally. Prominent country songwriters, Tom Douglas, Jared Johnston and Jeffrey Steele are vying their third, first, and second nomination respectively for “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” performed by Faith Hill & Tim McGraw.
Best Country Album
- Miranda Lambert — Platinum
- Eric Church — The Outsiders
- Dierks Bentley — The Riser
- Brandy Clark — 12 Stories
- LeeAnn Womack — The Way I’m Livin’
Miranda Lambert might finally win her first every Best Country Album award for the universally-acclaimed Platinum, which won Album of the Year at the 2014 CMA Awards and it’s currently in the running for the same prize at the ACM Awards. Lambert was previously nominated for her last two records: Revolution in 2011 and Four the Record in 2013. The other critically-acclaimed album capable of upsetting Lambert is Eric Church’s The Outsiders. Church was previously nominated in 2012 for Chief.
Completing the Best Country Album line-up are Dierks Bentley for Riser, who is up for his third nomination in the category; second-time nominee LeeAnn Womack for The Way I’m Livin’ and first-timer Brandy Clark for her debut studio album, 12 Stories.