The Billboard Music Awards will air on May 15. This year, the country has an interesting range of nominees, from pop crossovers to a dubiously racist singer, all looking to land BBMAs. We’ll take a look.
Best Country Artist
Controversial Morgan Wallen will likely take this award home. He finished atop Billboard’s Top Country Artists Year-end chart, thanks to the continued success of his double album “Dangerous”. It will be hard to put it down, especially since “Dangerous” is still in the top five of the Billboard 200, even after more than a year since its release. However, if anyone was upset, it would probably be Taylor Swift. The question is whether the success of Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” might be enough to eclipse Wallen and give Swift a win here. I’m going with Wallen, but Swift can easily surprise.
Best Country Male Artist
Wallen is sure to bring this one home. It easily had the biggest year among the nominees, landing the number one album across all genres in the US in 2021. You might not want to give this one too much thought.
Best Country Female Artist
Considering she’s the only woman nominated in the Mixed Top Country Artist category, Taylor Swift obviously takes home this award. That’s impressive, considering she’s racked up all her chart spots pretty much since November, when “Red (Taylor’s Version)” was released; she wasn’t even in the top 50 on the year-end album chart (which had a cut in November).
Top Country Duo/Group
Dan and Shay are looking forward to another victory in this category. They ranked at the top of Billboard’s list of top country artists among duos and groups, and the months between Billboard’s year-end deadline in November and the BBMAs’ deadline in March were better for them in the charts than for their fellow nominees in this category. It would be the third victory for the group in this race.
Best Country Album
This is going to be the Swift Records battle. For one thing, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is older, which means it’s had more time to rack up sales and chart points, which could put it in the lead. However, the success of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” was very significant, reaching over 500,000 equivalent album units in its first week, well above the 291,000 units of “Fearless”. “Red” also produced a brand new number one single for Swift, her 10-minute long version of “All Too Well.” As such, ‘Red’ might be the likeliest option here for a win, especially since he’s had more longevity than the former.
Best Country Song
This prize will be between the number one and number two songs on the Year-End Top Country Songs list: Luc Combes“Forever After All” and Walker Hayes“Fancy Like”, respectively. Comb’s song was technically bigger last year, but Hayes was probably very close. Considering the BBMA eligibility period ended in March, months after Billboard’s year-end charts deadline, there might have been enough time to put Hayes above Combs. for this price. However, I’m playing it safe and going with Combs for now.
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