ACM Awards predictions: Male Artist of the Year is too close to call

Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton are both past winners of Male Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, but in 2023 they could both be usurped by Morgan Wallen. That’s according to the combined predictions of Gold Derby users who have placed their bets here in our predictions center as of this writing.

Wallen leads our forecasts with 6/1 odds. He’s backed by 12 of the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s ACM Awards and 13 of the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ prediction results. It doesn’t hurt that he’s undoubtedly the most commercially successful country artist in the industry right now, with his new album “One Thing at a Time” spending its first six weeks at number-one on the Billboard 200. And while he has a, shall we say, controversial public image, that didn’t stop him from winning Album of the Year last year for his previous album “Dangerous.”

But while “One Thing at a Time” is the top album in the country as academy members are considering their votes, it won’t be eligible to compete for Album of the Year until 2024. The only Male Artist contender who is also nominated in that category is Luke Combs, for “Gettin’ Old.” Perhaps being nominated for his current album era will give him the edge against artists who are between eras, though neither of the last two winners — Thomas Rhett in 2021 and Stapleton in 2022 — were up for Album of the Year, and they beat artists who were. Nevertheless, Combs is virtually tied with Wallen at 6/1 odds with support from seven Top Users and six All-Stars.

Speaking of Stapleton, he’s the defending champion and a three-time winner overall, so you can never count him out. He ranks third with 13/2 odds, with five Top Users and four All-Stars predicting him to prevail. He, Wallen, and Combs are all also nominated for Entertainer of the Year, so that doesn’t help us narrow down the Male Artist front-runner any. And all three of them have four total nominations this year, so this race is about as evenly matched as you can get. Who do you think will win?

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify music chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

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