The CMA Awards are upon us. It is the biggest country music award show and the highest honor you can receive in the genre. The awards go to the most critically-acclaimed country artists, with most legends having at least a few on their mantle.

Unlike past years, the CMA Awards seem to be a bit more up in the air than past years! For awhile, the same big stars seemed to be winning, which makes sense. However, there is a new class of country music.

This was evident in 2021, when Carly Pearce won the Female Vocalist Of The Year award. The award had gone to Miranda Lambert or Carrie Underwood for the past decade so it was symbolic in the future of country music.

Now, with the award show upon us, I have many thoughts on who I think will win the major categories this year. These thoughts and predictions are just for fun so please don't be mad at me if I don't choose your favorite artist.

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My Predictions For The 2022 CMA Awards

Carly Pearce With Jackson Dean In Concert - Nashville, TN
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Female Vocalist Of The Year - Carly Pearce

It's hard to go outside of the box here but I think Carly Pearce will win for a second year in a row. Her win last year was one of the most memorable moments of the night and she's maintained momentum going into her second year nominated. She's also nominated in three other major categories and has headlined a successful tour, brought out Wynonna Judd at CMA Fest and was a CMT Artist Of The Year. Lainey Wilson is too new to take this one home but she's a lock for the future and Ashley's biggest hit this year was her duet with Carly. Miranda and Carrie are up for Entertainer and I think one of them will be honored there instead. In my perfect world, Miranda would win every award ever but she has more trophies than anyone else so it's fun to spread the love.

2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 - Show
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Male Vocalist Of The Year - Morgan Wallen

Some country music fans may have a problem with a win for Morgan Wallen but out of all five contenders in this category (Church, Combs, Johnson, Stapleton), he is the one whose had the biggest year. He's broken every record imaginable and just keeps doing so. It's hard not to choose Stapleton for an award with the word "vocalist" in it and Combs and Church are my absolute favorites but Morgan is the most undeniable nominee of the night, like it or not. Luke Combs would get my vote because, well, no explanation needed but it's hard to argue anyone has had a bigger year than Wallen.

2022 Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th
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Vocal Group Of The Year: Old Dominion

Who is it going to be? It was pretty quiet on the group front this past year but Old Dominion gets the edge here because they also secured a nod for Album Of The Year with Time, Tequila & Therapy. I can't think of another group that should really be in here. Can you?

55th Annual CMA Awards - Show
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

Duo Of The Year - Maddie & Tae

This would definitely be one of the biggest shockers of the night but I am going out on a limb here. It has been a very quiet year for perennial winners Brothers Osborne and Dan + Shay. No duo has had any massive radio hits this year but Maddie & Tae released a handful of EPs so I am going to put my money on them - if only so it helps make it happen! Plus, they won a CMT Music Award earlier this year as well.

2022 CMT Artists Of The Year - Show
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New Artist Of The Year - Lainey Wilson

This is probably one of the surest bets of the night. Lainey has had a crazy year, just released her second album in October, has a starring role on the biggest television show in the world right now (Yellowstone, in case you've been living under a rock) and has the most nominations of any other artist. Anyone in this category is deserving but it's hers to lose. Cody Johnson would be the one to edge her out but I think she's pretty safe here. Plus, you just have to love her.

2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 2 - Show
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Album Of The Year - Luke Combs, Growin' Up

It seemed like even albums from the biggest country artists didn't break through this year the way they usually do! With that said, while every Miranda album is a masterpiece, this one will likely go to Luke given his massive year and his radio success from singles off his sophomore effort. I am slightly in favor of Miranda's Palomino but it seemed to fly way under the radar this time around.

2022 CMT Artists Of The Year - Red Carpet
Brett Carlsen, Getty Images

Single Of The Year - Cody Johnson, 'Til You Can't

This is always a hard category to predict since it usually involves the top five songs of the year. This is the song that gave Cody his breakthrough moment after years in the business, it's a tearjerker and it's also the biggest hit in a pool of absolute smashes. Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney won two CMAs for Half Of My Hometown last year so that could be a close second, however, neither have any other nominations so Cody has the edge.

15th Annual Academy Of Country Music Honors - Show
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Song Of The Year - Jordan Davis with Luke Bryan, Buy Dirt

This is absolutely the hardest category of the night to predict. It is never a good idea to vote against Stapleton but every song was an absolute smash hit. I'd say this one is a great way to honor the host, Luke Bryan, and give Jordan Davis some long overdue love. However, I can see a win for any song in this category which includes Sand In My Boots, Never Wanted To Be That Girl, You Should Probably Leave and Things A Man Oughta Know.

57th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Show
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Musical Event Of The Year - Carly Pearce with Ashley McBryde, Never Wanted To Be That Girl

I would say only three songs in this category were major hits so the best competition for these two would be Carrie and Jason for If I Didn't Love You and Never Say Never with Cole Swindell and Lainey Wilson. This song has the emotion and critically-acclaimed storytelling the others do not and it's up for several other categories, including Song and Single. Plus, it took home the ACM Award for the same category earlier this year. I will also place my bet on this one for Music Video Of The Year for the same reasons.

CMA Fest 2022 - Day 3
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Entertainer Of The Year - Carrie Underwood

It's been over a decade since a female won this category and I have a good feeling that streak will be broken this year. Everyone knows how good of a show Carrie Underwood puts on. She goes all out, is an incredible vocalist, is currently on tour, released a country album after a long hiatus, has a Las Vegas residency and makes every single show a big production. She's long overdue and it's embarrassing she hasn't won yet. Morgan Wallen may have had the most commercial success but Carrie has remained on top of her game since American Idol. I wouldn't be mad at a Miranda upset, either.

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