Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
Brooks and Dunn, “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
Lady Antebellum, “I Run to You”
Rascal Flatts, “Here Comes Goodbye”
Sugarland, “It Happens”
For the third year in a row, the Dixie Chicks and Alison Krauss and Union Station are not in contention. While I respect and admire them greatly, they tend to handicap this race whenever they’re eligible and it’s been nice to see other talented acts get recognized here.
This year, Brooks and Dunn are back at it again with their 12th nomination in this category. With that being said, they don’t pose any threat here. Ditto for Rascal Flatts who–while country music staples–have been overshadowed in the past by other groups with more respect or more buzz.
As last year’s Country Group recipients (“Stay”), Sugarland have a slight chance of repeating with “It Happens”.
With two of the biggest songs to dominate country radio last year, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band are definitely the frontrunners. The former act has only exploded in popularity since the Last GRAMMY cycle and have the benefit of being fixtures on country and AC radio stations. The Zac Brown Band are up for Best New Artist and managed to land a Country Album nod as well which shows solid support among NARAS voters. By a hair, I say Lady Antebellum wins it.
Winner: Lady Antebellum, “I Run to You”
Runner-Up: Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Winner: Taylor Swift, “White Horse”
Runner-Up: Carrie Underwood, “Just a Dream”
Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Winner: Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”
Runner-Up: George Strait, “Living for the Night”
Best Country Collaboration with Vocals
Winner: Brad Paisley & Keith Urban, “Start a Band”
Runner-Up: Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis, “I Told You So”
Best Country Song
Winner: “I Run to You,” Tom Douglas, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)
Runner-Up: “White Horse,” Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
Best Country Album
Winner: Taylor Swift, Fearless
Runner-Up: Keith Urban, Defying Gravity