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Predicting the winners of the 2020 CMA Awards

Set for November 11, this year’s CMA Awards is going to look a little bit different this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. There won’t be a red carpet or any crowds to perform in front of, but this year’s ceremony will still carry on with its plans to honor country music’s brightest stars. 

Before the 2020 CMA Awards air on ABC on November 11, flip through the slideshow below for our predictions on who will win in every single category, from Music Video of the Year to the coveted Entertainer of the Year trophy. 

 
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Musician of the Year: Jenee Fleenor

Musician of the Year: Jenee Fleenor
Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images

After finally winning the CMA Award for Musician of the Year in 2019, expect Jenee Fleenor to repeat her win in 2020. A frequent collaborator with Blake Shelton, Jon Pardi, and Martina McBride, Fleenor is an incredible fiddle player who also works as a songwriter and plays guitar and mandolin. 

 
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Music Video of the Year: Bluebird, Miranda Lambert

Music Video of the Year: Bluebird, Miranda Lambert
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

In the music video for “Bluebird,” the Miranda Lambert hit that’s the likely winner of this year’s CMA Award for Music Video of the Year, the metaphor of a caged bird singing is fully on display. The video was filmed in New York City, which makes sense considering that Lambert wrote the song just a few days after her marriage to Brendan McLoughlin, a former New York City police officer. 

 
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Musical Event of the Year: “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber

Musical Event of the Year: “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
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A collaboration between Dan + Shay and pop star Justin Bieber, “10,000 Hours” might have been the biggest musical event of 2019 in any genre. In its first week, the song racked up more than 33 million streams and shot to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. As such, expect it to win Musical Event of the Year at the CMA Awards, even if it isn’t exactly a traditionally country tune. 

 
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Single of the Year: "Beer Never Broke My Heart," Luke Combs

Single of the Year: "Beer Never Broke My Heart," Luke Combs
Frank Hoensch/Redferns

The latest in a slew of iconic country music drinking songs, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” is Combs’s sixth number one single, and may end up being his most iconic. Despite fierce competition from Miranda Lambert, Gabby Barrett, Dan + Shay, and Maren Morris, it’s likely that he’ll take home the win. 

 
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Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird”

Song of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “Bluebird”
Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images

The relentlessly optimistic “Bluebird” by Miranda Lambert is the obvious choice for Song of the Year. It notched a #1 hit for Lambert, her first since 2012. It’s also a solid anthem for 2020, when optimism is decidedly in short supply. 

 
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Album of the Year: Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get

Album of the Year: Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get
Frank Hoensch/Redferns

Stacked with radio hits like “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” and “Does to Me,” Luke Combs’s What You See Is What You Get is the definition of a country music juggernaut, and it’s likely going to win Album of the Year. The album, released in November 2019, has since been certified platinum, and peaked at #1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart. 

 
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New Artist of the Year: Morgan Wallen

New Artist of the Year: Morgan Wallen
Josh Brasted/Getty Images

This year, New Artist of the Year is a tough category for choosing a winner. This year’s nominees include a slew of seriously promising up-and-comers, including Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress, and Morgan Wallen. But expect Wallen to come out on top — 2019 was a huge year for him thanks to TikTok fangirls and songs like “Whiskey Glasses.” 

 
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Vocal Duo of the Year: Dan + Shay

Vocal Duo of the Year: Dan + Shay
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Arguably the biggest country crossover success of recent years, Dan + Shay are a shoo-in for Vocal Duo of the Year. The duo of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney won the award in 2019, and continued that success with “10,000 Hours,” their smash-hit collaboration with pop star Justin Bieber. 

 
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Vocal Group of the Year: Lady A

Vocal Group of the Year: Lady A
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Making major headlines over the past year for their name change, Lady A is the likeliest contender to win Vocal Group of the Year in 2020. It is possible, though, that also-nominated five-piece Old Dominion could pull off the three-peat after winning in 2018 and 2019. 

 
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Male Vocalist of the Year: Eric Church

Male Vocalist of the Year: Eric Church
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

He’s never won a Male Vocalist of the Year award at the CMAs, and 2020 is definitely Eric Church’s year. After Luke Combs’s big win in 2019, it’s finally time for Mr. Misunderstood to get his due. 

 
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Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

It’s a tough call, but expect 7-time Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert to win again in 2020, despite a stacked list of contenders that also includes Maren Morris, Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, and Ashley McBryde.

 
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Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood

Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood
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Ever since Garth Brooks took home the Entertainer of the Year trophy in 2019, fans have been lobbying hard for Carrie Underwood to win in this category. Even Brooks himself thought Underwood should win in 2019, and artists like Luke Bryan have lobbied for the “Cry Pretty” singer to win in this coveted category. 

Amy McCarthy is a Texas-based journalist. Follow her on twitter at @aemccarthy

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