By Christina Vinson
The ACM Award for Song of the Year recognizes the tune’s writer, publisher and artist — and this year, there were more than enough top-notch songs to make the country music world go ’round. With contenders like Luke Bryan, Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church up in the category in 2015, it’s a tough draw. Who do you think will be crowned the winner?
Kenny Chesney‘s “American Kids” received several nods at the 2015 ACMs and has a few of country’s biggest writers behind it: Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird and Shane McAnally. Pumped full of groovy sounds and the zeitgeist of youth, this song is not easily forgotten.
Miranda Lambert‘s “Automatic” throws fans back to a time when payphones were a common form of communication and life was a little slower. The singer co-wrote the hit with Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby, and she believes that it offers a message that needs to be said. Fans heard it loud and clear, making “Automatic” Lambert’s highest-debuting single.
The most emotional song of the bunch is certainly Bryan’s “Drink a Beer,” which he has described as the “coolest sad song ever.” Although the singer did not write the song, he personally connects with it, having tragically lost his both of his siblings long before their lives should have ended. The vulnerability Bryan shows through the tune is unprecedented in his career, making “Drink a Beer” a clear standout in his discography.
Co-written by Brandy Clark, McAnally and Musgraves, “Follow Your Arrow” is one of the most pointed (no pun intended) songs in this category. It references homosexuality, smoking pot and other issues that the country music industry has shied away from in prior years. Musgraves hit the bulls-eye with this song, and fans responded by helping it receive a gold certification from the RIAA.
Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown” gave the singer his highest-ever debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts; it became his fourth No. 1. He co-wrote the song with Laird, and Jay Joyce’s production really makes it shine. As the second single from Church’s most recent record, The Outsiders, fans eagerly took to the song, which depicts a more earnest and soft Church.
The second single from Dierks Bentley‘s Riser, “I Hold On” shows Bentley staying true to his roots and focusing on faith, love and freedom.
“If you asked me to sum myself up in three minutes, I’d play “I Hold On” for you,” Bentley says. “At first listen, you might think it’s about my truck or my guitar, but it’s really about why I do some of the things I do and the kind of guy I am.”
The song was certified platinum by the RIAA.
Who do you think will take home Song of the Year at the 2015 ACM Awards? Vote as often as once an hour in the poll below until the end of the day on April 15. We’ll tabulate the results and use them for our 2015 ACM Awards winners predictions the week before the show.
The 2015 ACM Awards will air live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 19 at 8PM ET on CBS.