POLL: Who Should Win Best Country Solo Performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards?
The 2017 Grammy Awards are just around the corner, and thanks to the great music released by talented country and Americana musicians in 2016, the race for Best Country Solo Performance will be tight. Who do you think will win?
Brandy Clark has been writing songs for everyone from Reba McEntire to Keith Urban for well over a decade, but it's her original work that made a lasting impression in 2016. The singer-songwriter's second studio album, Big Day in a Small Town, reveals her lyrical depth and roots, especially on the record's second track, "Love Can Go to Hell;" the Grammy-nominated performance showcases Clark's prowess both as a songwriter and a singer.
Before the release of Miranda Lambert's stunning double-disc The Weight of These Wings, most people assumed that listeners would hear a handful of songs about a tough breakup and then move on; however, with "Vice," the country singer showed fans that when she writes about the end of a relationship, she doesn't pull any punches, but she also doesn't let herself off the hook. The song is about running to the wrong things with a broken heart, and Lambert's vocal performance on the tune is raw and honest, adding a layer of vulnerability to her tough exterior and easily securing her Grammys nod for Best Country Solo Performance.
In 2008, Carrie Underwood won two Grammys for her revenge-fueled breakup anthem "Before He Cheats" and in 2017, she may take home a trophy for a song with a similar theme. "Church Bells" shares the story of a woman forced to take action due to her abusive husband, and just as in "Before He Cheats," Underwood's vocal performance makes the song especially meaningful and relatable. The sound of church bells evolve to mean different things to the song's main character with each chorus, and Underwood's performance is equally layered and emphatic, turning the risky subject of murder into a subtle, but no less powerful, indictment of domestic violence.
It's not often that an artist's first single gets nominated for Best Country Solo Performance, but when it comes to Maren Morris' 2017 Grammys nomination, pretty much no one is surprised. The country newcomer garnered the most Grammys nods of any other country artist this year, and it all started with the unconventional country single, "My Church." The tune's lyrics are irreverently honest, its melody mixes gritty guitars with unruly blues, and Morris' voice is so beautifully raw, listeners can feel it in their bones. All in all, "My Church" was a bold move for Morris to make on her debut country single ... and it made country music even better.
Keith Urban is the only guy to make the list of nominated artists for Best Country Solo Performance in 2017, but “Blue Ain’t Your Color" certainly deserves the recognition. Turning a traditional country waltz on its head, Urban infused the song with electronic instrumentation, and his experimentation paid off. "Blue Ain't Your Color" is soulful and sultry, bringing the best of Urban's talents to light while taking the singer in a new direction that even longtime fans seem to be eating up.
Who should win Best Country Solo Performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards? Vote for your pick in the poll below as often as once an hour until 11:59PM ET on Feb. 9; we’ll tabulate the results and use them for our winners predictions.
The 59th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 12. The Late Late Show host James Corden will host the televised ceremony, which will begin at 8PM ET on CBS; the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony will begin at 3:30PM ET and be available to stream online.
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