Can Taylor Swift finally beat Carrie Underwood at the Academy of Country Music Awards?


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Taylor Swift‘s ‘Fearless’ (2008) won album of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, but she’s never won best female vocalist or any other top ACM prize for that matter. Now she battles her toughest foe, Carrie Underwood, for the crown as best female vocalist at the kudocast to be televised Sunday night in Las Vegas (CBS, 8 p.m. PT/ET).

In 2007, Swift won an ACM trophy as a new vocalist, but Underwood claimed the top prize as best female vocalist that year. Underwood also won in 2006 and 2008. Last year, Swift and Underwood lost to the hottest new country diva on the block: Miranda Lambert. Now Swift, Lambert and Underwood face off against Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack. Womack’s never won. McEntire holds the record in the category with seven wins, but the last was way back in 1996.


Taylor Swift is also overdue to win entertainer of the year. Ditto Keith Urban and Brad Paisley. Underwood won the last two years, but now she isn’t nominated. Swift, Urban and Paisley face off against Jason Aldean, Toby Keith and Miranda Lambert. Toby Keith is the only past champ (2002, 2003) in the category, which usually hails the country music star who had the most amazing concert tour of the year.

There’s no suspense surrounding what will win best album of the year. Following up on the group’s recent Grammy romp, Lady Antebellum is destined to prevail for ‘Need You Now,’ which won best single and song last year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. The album competes in the current race because it was technically released in a later eligibility period. See a full list of nominees in all categories here.

As usual, the ACM Awards will be hosted by Reba McEntire, this year accompanied by Blake Shelton. Presenters include Luke Bryan, Chace Crawford, Celine Dion, Bethany Hamilton, Julianne Hough, the Judds, Miranda Lambert, Nancy O’Dell, Robert Pattinson, Ryan Seacrest, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Young.

The kudocast includes performances by Alabama, Dierks Bentley, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McIntyre, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band.

-- Tom O’Neil