Yesterday the Nashville Scene published the 17th annual Country Music Critics’ Poll, the genre’s most respected measure of critical consensus. The 89 voting journalists from North America and beyond handed Miranda Lambert victories for Album of the Year (The Weight of These Wings), Single of the Year (“Vice”), Female Vocalist of the Year and Artist of the Year.
With this year’s triumphs, Lambert has set new records in the poll for the most Female Vocalist of the Year awards (six), the most Single of the Year awards (four) and most Album of the Year awards (four, including one with the Pistol Annies). She has also tied the Dixie Chicks for the most Artist of the Year awards (four).
Finishing first and second in the Best New Artist Category were Maren Morris and Margo Price, respectively, who also wound up with the No. 5 and No. 2 best albums, respectively. In fact, seven of the Top 10 albums in the poll feature acts with female lead singers, and so do seven of the Top 10 singles.
The main male interloper in this year of the women is Sturgill Simpson, who saw his major label debut, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, voted the No. 4 Best Album. He has also been named the year’s No. 1 Best Male Vocalist, No. 1 Best Live Act and No. 2 Artist of the Year.
Other big winners include Brandy Clark (No. 3 Best Album, No. 3 Best Female Vocalist and No. 2 Best Songwriter), Lori McKenna (Best Songwriter), Brothers Osborne (Best Duo or Group) and The Trio (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, Best Reissue).
The Scene’s coverage of the poll includes all the results, an exclusive interview with Brandy Clark, an essay on the results by poll editor Geoffrey Himes, an analysis of the numbers and comments from many of the voters.
The voters wrote for big coastal newspapers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, as well as smaller dailies such as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Green Bay Press-Gazette and Lincoln Journal Star. They wrote for big magazines like Rolling Stone, Billboard and Smithsonian, and for music websites such as Pitchfork, CountryStandardTime.com and PopMatters.
To see the final results of the 17th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll CLICK HERE.