CMT AWARDS 2023 nominees and predictions

The 2023 edition of the Country Music Television awards is upon us again. What would award season be without some predictions? Of course, it’s that the whole fun of watching an Award show, anyway, seeing how many favourites of yours won and getting angry when the judges voted the wrong way. Well, here are my picks for the award show. I’ll vote with my heart, and we will see how many we get right and just how badly I got this wrong on Monday morning!


  • What He Didn’t Do – Carly Pearce
  • Humble Quest – Maren Morris
  • HEARTFIRST – Kelsea Ballerini
  • Ghost Story – Carrie Underwood
  • Pick Me Up – Gabby Barrett
  • Heart Like a Truck – Lainey Wilson
  • Actin’ Up – Miranda Lambert

We are starting with a tough category. They are some incredible women up for video of the year. I have seen many of these live at one point or another. However, if I have to give the award to someone, I’m giving it to What He Didn’t Do—recently hitting number one in the country charts—one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite albums. I hope Carly gets the win with this one.


  • Let Het Cry (From CMT Storytellers) – Darius Rucker
  • Love Can Build a Bridge (2022 CMT Awards) – The Judds
  • Lay Me Down (Coal Miner’s Daughter, A Celebration of the life and music of Loretta Lynn) – Lukas Nelson and Emmy Russell
  • Colors (2022 CMT Awards) – Mickey Guyton and Black Pumas
  • The Rose (Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration) – Brandi Carlile. Wynonna Judd
  • One Way Ticket (CMT Crossroads: Leann Rimes & Friends) – Leann Rimes, Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde
  • Never Say Never (2022 CMT Awards) – Lainey Wilson, Cole Swindell
  • Wild Hearts (2022 CMT Awards) – Keith Urban
  • Whenever You Come Around (CMT Giants: Vince Gill) – Chris Stapleton

This is another hard one, but when I looked at the nominees here, this would only ever go one way for me. Will it win? Maybe not, but One Way Ticket from Leann Rimes has been a favourite song of mine since I was ten years old when it was released. Just this last week on Twitter, I quoted some lines from this song. I would be betraying myself if I gave this to anything else. Plus, the addition of Carly and Ashley McBryde makes it all the better.


  • Son of a Sinner – Jelly Roll
  • Human – Cody Johnson
  • Rock and a Hard Place – Bailey Zimmerman
  • Like I Love Country Music – Kane Brown
  • She Had Me at Heads Caroline – Cole Swindell
  • The Kind of Love We Make – Luke Combs
  • Wasted on You – Morgan Wallen

I love Luke Combs despite the maybe not-so-stellar new album—growing Old which you can read our review of here. However, my favourite song from this category is Cole Swindell’s She Had Me at Heads Caroline. So I will flip a coin and hope Cole takes this award.


  • She Likes It – Russell Dickerson & Jake Scott
  • Thank God – Kane Brown & Katelyn Brown
  • Where We Stand – Katy Perry & Thomas Rhett
  • Wait in The Truck – Lainey Wilson & HARDY
  • Worth A Shot – Elle King & Dierks Bentley
  • Wishful Drinking – S, Hunt & Ingrid Andress
  • Longneck Way To Go – Midland & Jon Pardi

He is coming to the UK later this year, and I’ve given him the award. Jon Pardi and his buddies from Midland get this one with a Longneck Way to Go. I love the song, Love Midland, Love Jon Pardi. Enough said on this one.


  • Out in The Middle – Zac Brown Band
  • Hell Yeah – Little Big Town
  • Summer State of Mind – Lady A
  • Take My Name – Parmalee
  • You – Dan + Shay
  • Thats How Love is Made – The War and Treaty

Oh wow! We have two of this year’s Country to Country headliners, in Zac Brown and Lady A, battling it out with a former headliner in Little Big Town. Let’s not forget that Dan + Shay is also in the category. There is lots of talent here, but my vote goes for Lady A. has been really enjoying them since that performance at Country to Country. I was never their biggest fan, but they turned me this time.


  • Wishful Drinking – Ingrid Andress
  • Tennessee Orange – Megan Moroney
  • Time of the Cottonwood Trees – Charley Crockett
  • Gettin You Home – Chris Young
  • Damn Strait – Scott McCreery
  • Jelly Roll – Son of a Sinner

It would be easy to go with Chris Young or Ingrid Andress here. However, that’s no fun so I will go with a left-field pick in Tennessee Orange and Megan Moroney; it’s a good song and a fun video. Not sure she will tip Chris, Ingrid or Scott McCreery to the title, but as long as she is nominated, she has a chance.


  • Wild As Her – Corey Kent
  • Son of a Sinner – Jelly Roll
  • Whiskey on You – Nate Smith
  • Sounds Like Something I’ll Do – Drake Milligan
  • Fall in Love – Bailey Zimmerman
  • Don’t Come Lookin’ – Jackson Dean

Only one winner here, and that’s the song I’ve had stuck in my head for the past few weeks. Drake Milligan’s, Sounds Like Something I’d Do.


  • Pickup – MacKenzie Porter
  • Tennessee Orange – Megan Moroney
  • Wilder Days – Morgan Wade
  • Narcissist – Avery Anna
  • If He Wanted to He Would – Kylie Morgan
  • Found It In You – Tiera Kennedy

Another hard one for the breakthrough female video of the year. Lots of people I like in his category as well. Pickup by MacKenzie Porter is a great song. Ever since seeing her live last year, I’ve really enjoyed Avery Ann and Narcissist. However, while she might not win Digital First Performance, I think Tennessee Orange as a great chance of taking home the gold for Megan Moroney on this one.


  • Country on – Luke Bryan
  • HEARTFIRST – Kelsea Ballerini
  • Hate My Heart – Carrie Underwood
  • Human – Cody Johnson
  • Bonfire at Tina’s – Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack, Bradi Clark
  • No Body – Blake Shelton
  • Wait in the Truck – Lainey Wilson, HARDY
  • The Kind of Love me Make – Luke Combs
  • AA – Walker Hayes
  • Worth a Shot – Elle King, Dierks Bentley
  • Rich Man – Little Big Town
  • Pick Me Up – Gabby Barrett
  • You Proof – Morgan Wallen
  • Wild Hearts – Keith Urban
  • Thank God – Kane Brown, Katelyn Brown

So we finally get to the big one, and I honestly have no idea. I can make an argument for any one of these to win. Luke, Kelsea! Carrie, Blake! Luke Combs and everyone else. Still, I guess I have to pick a winner, so I’ll stop procrastinating and do with Country On, Luke Bryan. Why! I have no idea, but I have to choose someone, and they are all so good.

Well, these are my picks for this year’s CMT Awards. The CMT Awards are taking place this Sunday and are streaming on Paramount Plus. I’m unsure if this is just in the states or over on this side of the pond. Either way, it’s sure to be a great night of music, and I’ll be back on Monday to go over the results and cry and just how badly I predicted this show.


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