Grammys 2016 Best Country Song Nominees, Who Should/Will Win: 'Girl Crush' vs. 'Traveller'
In a year that was once again ruled by bro country ("Kick the Dust Up," anyone?), the five nominees at the 2016 Grammys for Best Country Song take back the genre and return it to its earnest roots. From the heartbreaking vulnerability of Brandy Clark's "Hold My Hand" and Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" to the personal journey of Chris Stapleton's "Traveller" and the loving desire in "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools" and "Chances Are," there's really no way to go wrong.
"Chances Are," Lee Ann Womack (songwriter: Hayes Carll)
"Diamond Rings and Old Barstools," Tim McGraw (songwriters: Barry Dean, Luke Laird, Jonathan Singleton)
"Girl Crush," Little Big Town (songwriters: Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
"Hold My Hand," Brandy Clark (songwriters: Brandy Clark, Mark Stephen Jones)
"Traveller," Chris Stapleton (songwriter: Chris Stapleton)
WHO SHOULD WIN: Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
"Chances Are," "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools," "Girl Crush," "Hold My Hand" and "Traveller" all feature an honesty in lyricism and composition that will resonate with fans of the genre for years. The Grammys don't often get a category's nominees all right, but for Best Country Song, it's hard to pick any snubs.
So, any of these songs is a worthy winner - but which is the best of the best?
That distinction goes straight to "Girl Crush." While all of these songs have their merits, especially Stapleton's "Traveller," the all-female songwriting team on "Girl Crush (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose) tapped in to jealousy, insecurity and desire in an honest way that's refreshing in music, let alone country. Mix in the song's old school '50s beat with just the right amount of country twang, and you have a classic for the ages.
WHO WILL WIN: Little Big Town, "Girl Crush"
It seems like Best Country Song is Little Big Town's to lose this year. The grassroots country hit - which was shunned by a few country radio stations for an incorrect homoerotic lyrical interpretation - is a Grammys favorite nominee this year, up for the big award Song of the Year. If this songwriting is good enough to go up against Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran according to the Academy, it's more than good enough to slay the competition within its genre. Plus, when this song inevitably loses, this will be a solid consolation prize.
Though "Girl Crush" is the obvious choice for a win, Chris Stapleton could be a surprise win (relatively, anyway). He's country music's biggest award-winning darling, after sweeping the CMA Awards, so don't totally rule "Traveller" out. However, his guttural delivery is what really sells this song, so he may be better lined up to win Best Country Performance.
As for "Hold My Hand," "Chances Are" and "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools," well, it's just an honor to be nominated, isn't it?