Eric Church woke up this morning with no idea he had received 5 nominations for the upcoming Country Music Awards in November!  A very humble reaction given the fact that his current album "Chief" is arguably the best album produced in the past year.

Church is nominated for  Male Vocalist, Album, Song, Single and Video Of The Year.  Miranda Lambert and her husband Blake Shelton are just behind him with four nods each, including a Song Of The Year nomination they share together with "Over You."

Sticking my neck out, here are my predictions for this year's CMA Awards.

Entertainer of the Year will go to Blake Shelton.  He competes with Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney and Taylor Swift in this elite category.  Being a judge on "The Voice" hasn't hurt him.  Neither has 7 consecutive #1 singles.  The edge goes to Blake this year.

For Female Vocalist of the Year, I predict that Miranda Lambert will prevail. She's nominated along with Kelly Clarkson, Martina McBride,  and Carrie Underwood.  Being married to Blake Shelton and also the fact that she can be a hellraiser and  the girl next door seems to resonate this year with country listeners.  Give Miranda the edge with Carrie Underwood a close second.

My Male Vocalist of the Year nod goes to Eric Church squeezing by Blake Shelton by the narrowest of margins.  Eric's album "Chief" and an exhausting tour schedule will put him on top.

Vocal Group of the Year will be Lady Antebellum. This group appeals to an age span of listeners from 8 to 88.  They are hip enough for the younger folks, while solid lyrics largely appeal to women.   The Band Perry will be a close second in this category.

With Brooks & Dunn not together anymore, Vocal Duo of the Year has a huge vacuum to be filled.  This is a real reach, but I believe Vocal Duo of the Year will go to Thompson Square.

New Artist of the Year will go to Lee Brice. Personal favorite of mine and in no way diminishes the efforts of the past year by Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Thompson Square and Love And Theft.  I embrace them all.

Album of the Year, Song and Single of the Year will go to Eric Church. "Chief" in my opinion is unquestionably heads and shoulders above the rest with hits like "Springsteen" "Drink In My Hand" and "Creepin."  The album is capable of more releases in the future.

Musical Event of the Year goes to Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney for "Feel Like A Rockstar."  Two of the biggest names in country music together co-headlining the Brothers Of The Sun Tour.

Music Video of the Year goes to Toby Keith for "Red Solo Cup." The song started a HUGE demand for Red Solo Cups and beer this year.

The CMA Awards will air  November 1st from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on ABC and will be hosted again by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.