POLL: Who Should Win Music Video of the Year at the 2016 CMA Awards?
At the 2016 CMA Awards, only one artist will come away with the trophy for Music Video of the Year. Only two of this year's nominees -- Dierks Bentley and Tim McGraw -- have won the award before, and only one time each. Throw in fan favorites such as Eric Church and Chris Stapleton and newcomer Cam, and this year's race looks to be a tight one. With so many stellar music videos having been released in 2016, the winner of this year's CMA for Music Video of the Year is anyone's guess -- so, what's yours?
Awarded to both the artist and director, Music Video of the Year is unique in that it celebrates both the vocal and visual artistry of a country singer. This year's crop of nominated videos are as diverse as they are deserving. From Bentley's fun-loving breakup anthem to Stapleton's heart-wrenching video that spotlights mental health, the power of a music video to evoke emotion and create a connection is evident in every nominee on this list.
Bentley took home a Music Video of the Year win in 2014 for his hit "Drunk on a Plane," and this year, he is nominated for its sequel of sorts, "Somewhere on a Beach." Both videos were directed by Wes Edwards, and the new clip uses one of the same actors from "Drunk on a Plane," taking up where its predecessor left off. The video follows the passenger from the Riser Air flight as he moves on from a breakup (and some anxiety medication) with a gorgeous new woman.
No stranger to heartfelt videos, McGraw won Music Video of the Year for 2013's "Highway Don't Care." This year, he's nominated for "Humble and Kind," also directed by Edwards. Featuring clips of ordinary, real-life moments that are actually pretty extraordinary, the video for "Humble and Kind" is powerful in its simplicity. Emphasizing the connection of all human beings to one another, "Humble and Kind" won Video of the Year at the 2016 CMT Music Awards.
And speaking of our connection to others, Stapleton's video for "Fire Away" is all about the effect we have on one another -- for better or worse. The song is about the unconditional love shown even when it's hard, and the video, focused on a police officer trying to save the love of his life as she suffers from depression, is truly a work of art. Directed by Tim Mattia and featuring actors Ben Foster and Margarita Levieva, the video barely spotlights Stapleton himself, instead choosing to shine a light on mental health issues.
Church received his first nomination for Music Video of the Year in 2016 thanks to a nostalgic and beautiful homage to iconic artists and the fans who love them. The music video for "Record Year" was directed by John Peets and Reid Long and features the same boy who appeared on both the album cover for Church's record Mr. Misunderstood as well as in the title track's video. With sweet shoutouts to everyone from Waylon Jennings to James Brown, Church's video is not just about how music helps us get over a breakup, but how it shapes us into the people we are.
There's one woman in the mix for Music Video of the Year, and Cam and her "Burning House" video are certainly deserving of the nod. Directed by Trey Fanjoy, the premise for "Burning House" required -- you guessed it -- a burning house. And rather than take the easy way out with fake fire or CGI, the team decided to turn up the heat by using real fire during the shoot. In a behind-the-scenes clip with ET, Cam even admitted that her dress caught on fire at one point! Putting yourself in danger for the opportunity to create a stunningly visual music video -- check!
Who should win Music Video of the Year at the 2016 CMA Awards? You can vote in the poll below as often as once an hour until 11:59PM ET on Oct. 31. We’ll compile the results for our readers vs. staff predictions the following day (Nov. 1).
The 2016 CMA Awards are set to air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 2 on ABC at 8PM ET.
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