Grammys 2013 Predictions: Country Field

Paul Grein
Stop The Presses!

Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee is likely to receive a Grammy nomination as Best Country Album. The pop and R&B veteran has won four Grammys, including Album of the Year for his 1983-1984 blockbuster Can’t Slow Down and Song of the Year for “We Are The World,” which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson.

A track from the album, “Easy” (which features Willie Nelson), is vying for a nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. (The Commodores’ original 1977 version of the song was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.)

Zac Brown Band, Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson, past nominees for Best Country Album, are likely to return to the finals with Uncaged, Four The Record and Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran, respectively.

Little Big Town has a good chance of rounding out the category with Tornado. The group was crowned Vocal Group Of The Year at the CMA Awards on Nov. 1, ending (at least for now) Lady Antebellum’s three-year lock on that award.

Taylor Swift’s Red and Jason Aldean’s Night Train were released after the end of the eligibility period. They’ll vie for nominations next year (though the Grammys may put Red in the Pop Vocal Album category. The Grammys slotted Swift’s #1 single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in the Pop field this year.)

Because the Grammys now combine male and female vocalists into one category (Best Country Solo Performance), there’s a good chance that Miranda Lambert will be competing with her husband Blake Shelton. Lambert is vying with “Over You;” Shelton with “Over.”

The Grammy nominations will be announced on a live TV special on Dec. 5. The awards will be presented on Feb. 10.

Here are the five likely nominees (followed by some key alternates) in all of the categories in the country field.

Best Country Album

Lionel Richie, Tuskegee

Miranda Lambert, Four The Record

Little Big Town, Tornado

Zac Brown Band, Uncaged

Jamey Johnson, Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran


Martina McBride, Eleven

Carrie Underwood, Blown Away

Willie Nelson, Heroes

Dierks Bentley, Home

Kenny Chesney, Welcome To The Fishbowl

Alan Jackson, Thirty Miles West

Best Country Solo Performance

Jason Aldean, “Take A Little Ride”

Luke Bryan, “Drunk On You”

Eric Church, “Springsteen”

Miranda Lambert, “Over You”

Blake Shelton, “Over”


Keith Urban, “For You”

Dierks Bentley, “Home”

Hunter Hayes, “Wanted”

Taylor Swift, “Ours”

Carrie Underwood, “Good Girl”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Eli Young Band, “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”

Little Big Town, “Pontoon”

Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars, “Safe And Sound”

The Band Perry, “All Your Life”

Lionel Richie featuring Willie Nelson, “Easy”


Jamey Johnson featuring Alison Krauss, “Make The World Go Away”

Love And Theft, “Angel Eyes”

Zac Brown Band, “The Wind”

Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw, “Feel Like A Rock Star”

Alan Jackson & Zac Brown, “Dixie Highway”

Best Country Song

“Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), Will Hoge & Eric Paslay, songwriters

“Home” (Dierks Bentley), Brett Beavers, Dierks Bentley & Dan Wilson

“Over You” (Miranda Lambert), Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton

“Pontoon” (Little Big Town), Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby & Luke Laird

“Springsteen” (Eric Church), Eric Church, Jeff Hyde & Ryan Tyndell


“Take A Little Ride” (Jason Aldean), Dylan Altman, Rodney Clawson & Jim McCormick

“Wanted” (Hunter Hayes), Hunter Hayes & Troy Verges

“Over” (Blake Shelton), Paul Jenkins & David Elliott Johnson

“Ours” (Taylor Swift), Taylor Swift

“I Don’t Want This Night To End” (Luke Bryan), Rhett Atkins, Luke Bryan, Dallas Davidson & Ben Hayslip

“Come Over” (Kenny Chesney) Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne

“All Your Life” (The Band Perry), Brian Henningsen & Clara Henningsen

“Angel Eyes” (Love And Theft), Jeff Coplan, Eric Gunderson & Eric Paslay