Luke Bryan with his Tailgates and Tanlines

Luke Bryan has had an incredible year. He started it by sending Tailgates and Tanlines, his third studio album, platinum. He watched the charts and the sales numbers as “Country Girl”, “I Don’t Want This Night to End”, and “Drunk on You” not only went number one on the country singles chart, but also all went double platinum. Bryan then announced his first headlining tour, the Dirt Road Diaries tour. Oh, and he is also up for the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Award. Now, 2012 would end on a high note if he would win that award.

However, this is not going to happen. Luke Bryan’s own resume above is a bit of an issue and so is the field with which he is competing. To begin with, he has had immensely successful songs, but not an album so dominant it will never be forgotten. Anything less than five-times platinum can be forgotten. Tailgates and Tanlines has not yet eclipsed the record sales for double platinum status. Bryan also has yet to embark on a headlining tour. The first time true Luke Bryan tickets are going to be available for a series of shows in venues holding more than 10,000 people technically begins on January 17, 2013. The other first working against Bryan is the fact this is his first time being nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and first timers never win this award.

It is not just his resume making his win a longshot. It is also the pedigree of his competition. Jason Aldean may have been caught cheating on his wife, but he still has the most albums sold and the most concert tickets sold in 2012. Eric Church is not just a new arrival on the scene as a star. He has blown over the country music universe and is up for an incredible five CMAs. Essentially, he is a more mercurial version of Bryan. Blake Shelton is on a freaking hit television show. Regardless of his great album sales and his constant presence on the radio, his television fame is his biggest attribute in 2012. Keith Urban is the nostalgic choice, the remaining name of the last line of superstars who used to dominate this category.

If Bryan does not come away with this award, as it is looking quite likely he will not, Luke has another chance to leave Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with some hardware. His album Tailgates and Tanlines is also up for the Album of the Year.

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