Our 2018 Grammy Awards Predictions — Make Yours!
The 2018 Grammy Awards are less than a month away, and that means it's time for the staff of Taste of Country and our readers to face off in our annual contest to see who can come closest to predicting the winners on music's biggest night.
Miranda Lambert and Sam Hunt are among the huge country stars with nominations in the 2018 Grammy Awards, as well as newcomers Midland and Grammy veteran Alison Krauss. Kenny Chesney is also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Album for Cosmic Hallelujah, and if he brings it home, it'll actually mark the superstar's first-ever Grammy win.
Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett and Little Big Town are also among the country artists nominated in the 2018 Grammy Awards. Read our predictions below, and vote as often as once an hour to choose the artists you think will win. Tune in on Jan. 28 to see who the night's biggest winners are when the 2018 Grammy Awards air live from Madison Square Garden in New York City.
2018 Grammy Nominees (Country):
Best Country Album
Our Pick: Little Big Town, The Breaker. There is no shortage of great work in this category in 2018, and Stapleton is so critically acclaimed that many fans will probably place their bet on him. But LBT's latest album is one that takes a while and repeat listens to really sink in, and once it does, it has an uncanny staying power that draws you in again and again.
Best Country Song (Awarded to Songwriters)
Our Pick: Little Big Town, "Better Man." This was one of the biggest and most well-deserved hits of the year, and since it was written by Taylor Swift — who already took home Song of the Year honors at the CMA Awards — it's just too attractive for Grammy voters, who will give "Better Man" the win for Best Country Song at the 2018 Grammy Awards.
Best Country Solo Performance
Our Pick: Maren Morris, "I Could Use a Love Song." Morris became country music's new Grammy darling last year, and she's back in the running in 2018 with a new song in a completely different style. "I Could Use a Love Song" is her biggest hit to date, and it reveals a different sense of vulnerability about the artist. Despite extremely stiff competition, Morris has Best Country Solo Performance in the bag in the 2018 Grammy Awards.
Best Country Duo / Group Performance
Our Pick: Midland, "Drinkin' Problem." Really, we could make an argument for any one of the artists nominated for Best Country Duo/Group in the 2018 Grammy Awards. But Grammy voters tend to skew toward the hip, and no artist in country music is hipper right now than Midland. The retro-cool trio have brought back a classic sound that many thought dead and turned it into commercial success in a manner that's both unexpected and welcome.
Best Americana Album
Our Pick: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound. Gregg Allman may garner some posthumous support, and certainly the Mavericks have the pedigree to make a serious run at this category in 2018, too. But Jason Isbell is at the top of his game with his latest, and it's not hard to predict that he'll get the final nod after the Grammy votes are counted.
Best American Roots Song (Awarded to Songwriters)
Our Pick: Rodney Crowell Feat. Rosanne Cash and John Paul White, "It Ain't Over Yet." This is another category with an embarrassment of riches, but we predict Grammy votes won't be able to resist giving Crowell, Cash and White simultaneous Grammy wins for this very deserving collaboration.
Best American Roots Performance
Our Pick: Glen Campbell, "Arkansas Farmboy." Campbell wasn't just a country and pop star, he was also one of the most respected song interpreters and instrumentalists of all time. This will be Grammy voters' last chance to honor his long and spectacular career, and it seems likely they'll take that chance while they have it.
Best Pop Solo Performance
Our Pick: "Shape of You," Ed Sheeran. Wow, talk about a tough room. This is a category chock-full of the biggest names in contemporary music, and as much as we'd like to give a shoutout to Kelly Clarkson for her country music connections and her overall awesomeness, Sheeran's got this one sewn up in 2018.
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Our Pick: What If, The Jerry Douglas Band. In an age that's seeing a growing emphasis on visual appeal and simpler arrangements, it's wonderful to see so much outstanding instrumental music to choose from. Still, the Jerry Douglas Band have the undeniable edge here, and we predict they'll walk away with the win.
Best Roots Gospel Album
Our Pick: Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, Reba McEntire. McEntire revealed a new dimension to her music with her first full-on gospel project, and turned out Grammy-worthy work in the process. The music she made is more than deserving of the Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album, and the fact that her album spans multiple genres gives her a genuine edge with Grammy voters in 2018.
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