The Entertainer of the Year category is the most hotly contended in the upcoming 2023 ACM Awards. Which one of the deserving artists who are nominated should win the category? We’re letting Taste of Country and The Boot readers decide.
Jason Aldean, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown and Morgan Wallen are all nominated in the ACM Awards’ biggest and most important category in the annual awards show, which is set to air on Thursday (May 11) via Amazon Prime.
Each of these entertainers is deserving of the honor based on their enormous career success, and any one of them could garner the support from ACM voters to win Entertainer of the Year in 2023. There are also pluses and minuses to each argument.
Miranda Lambert is the reigning 2022 ACM Entertainer of the Year, but she’s had a cooling trend at radio for a few years now, and she recently left her longtime label deal; it’s very possible that without the block-voting support of a label, she might not have a realistic shot in 2023. Aldean is one of country’s most consistent hitmakers and live draws, and he’s won ACM Entertainer before; however, he’s getting to that later stage of a career where an artist just doesn’t win most of the major awards anymore, so that might hold him back.
Combs, on the other hand, is about as white-hot as an artist can possibly be at radio and awards shows … but he has never won this category at the ACMs, despite winning CMA Entertainer of the Year twice. Is this his year? Stapleton is also an awards show favorite, but Entertainer of the Year might not be the right fit for such a serious artist in the eyes of ACM voters.
Underwood is one of the most impactful artists of her generation, but like Aldean, she’s getting to that stage where awards get harder to come by, and she hasn’t had quite the sales or chart wins in recent years as she had at her commercial peak, so the support might not be there. On the other hand, she’s coming off one of the biggest tours of the year and a well-received Vegas residency, so that could put her over the top.
Brown has a long and impressive string of hits in recent years, but he doesn’t have a great track record at the ACM Awards; he’s won just once, for Video of the Year in 2019. Wallen is hitting on all cylinders, career-wise, but the scandal that caused the ACMs to drop him from consideration altogether in 2021 still follows him, and it’s not clear if he has the voter support to win the biggest category despite his success.
Who do you think should win Entertainer of the Year at the 2023 ACM Awards? Vote in our poll below, and check back after the awards ceremony to see whether you guessed correctly.