Will Underwood Be Belle of the Country Ball?

Who Should Win: When it comes to success on the charts and sales numbers, Carrie Underwood is head and shoulders above any other female vocalist this year. However, a win this year would be considered by many in the industry as too much, too soon for Carrie. After all, she released her first album only a year ago. Still, you can't argue with 3 million albums sold and the six weeks "Jesus Take the Wheel" spent at No. 1.


The Nominees: Brooks & Dunn, "Hillbilly Deluxe"; Rascal Flatts, "Me and My Gang"; Alan Jackson, "Precious Memories"; Kenny Chesney, "The Road and the Radio"; Brad Paisley, "Time Well Wasted."

Who Will Win: Alan Jackson's "Precious Memories" stands a good chance of winning this category because the CMA voters tend to favor left of center albums, and this one definitely fits that bill. Recorded on a small budget as a Christmas present for his mother, the album wasn't even intended for public release until Alan's record label heard it and turned it into a million-seller. If recent wins in this category for 2001's "O Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack and Johnny Cash's "American IV: The Man Comes Around" in 2003 are any indication, Alan could take home his third Album of the Year trophy Monday night.

Who Should Win: Brad Paisley's "Time Well Wasted" is a career best, featuring multiple No. 1 singles and Paisley's clever wit. With two previous nods in this category, Brad is overdue for an Album of the Year win.


The Nominees: Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton, "When I Get Where I'm Going"; Brooks & Dunn, "Believe"; Keith Urban, "Better Life"; Carrie Underwood, "Jesus Take the Wheel"; Kenny Chesney, "Summertime."

Who Will Win/ Who Should Win: Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" and Keith Urban's "Better Life" both spent six weeks at No. 1 on the charts, but "Jesus Take the Wheel" launched Carrie into the country music stratosphere while Keith's song was just another tune in a series of hits, so this one belongs to Miss Underwood.


The Nominees: Alison Krauss & Union Station with Jerry Douglas; Little Big Town; Lonestar; Rascal Flatts; Sugarland.

Who Should Win/ Who Will Win: Rascal Flatts all but have this category in the bag, thanks to their multi-week No. 1 crossover hit "What Hurts the Most," the No. 1 selling country album, "Me and My Gang," and one of music's top grossing tours in any genre.


The Nominees: Big & Rich; Brooks & Dunn; Mongomery Gentry; Van Zant; The Wreckers.

Who Will Win/ Who Sould Win: Brooks & Dunn have won this category every year since 1991, with the exception of Montgomery Gentry's 2000 win, and there's no doubt they'll take it home again Monday night on the strength of their religious themed hit "Believe."

SONG OF THE YEAR (award to songwriter)

The Nominees: Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton, "When I Get Where I'm Going"; Big & Rich, "8th of November"; Brooks & Dunn, "Believe"; Carrie Underwood, "Jesus Take the Wheel"; Keith Urban, "Tonight I Wanna Cry."

Who Should Win/ Who Will Win: This award usually goes to the most religious song, so Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn and Carrie Underwood are the favorites here. Still, "Jesus Take the Wheel" had the biggest impact, spending six weeks at No. 1, so look for it to win Song of the Year.


The Nominees: Miranda Lambert, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Little Big Town.

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