The ACM Songwriter of the Year trophy was first handed out in 1965 to Roger Miller and then discontinued; the awards ceremony offered recognition to songwriters only in the Song of the Year category until 2012, when Dallas Davidson won the Songwriter of the Year award when it was reinstated. Since then, the nominees list has been a steady stream of rockstar-status talent, including recent winners Lori McKenna and Ross Copperman. Here are the contenders for the 2018 Songwriter of the Year Award ... who would you chose?

Rhett Akins has cranked out hit after hit for many of the heavy hitters in country music,  including "When She Says Baby" for Jason AldeanDustin Lynch's "Mind Reader" and Lee Brice's "That Don't Sound Like You." Additionally, Akins has composed several songs for his son, Thomas Rhett; among Rhett's many hits that Akins wrote for or with him are "It Goes Like This," "Get Me Some of That" and "Star of the Show."

Ashley Gorley has written a slew of crowd-pleasers, including "Aw Naw," "Tonight Looks Good on You," "Kick the Dust Up" and Rhett's "T-Shirt." His songs have been recorded by Nashville's biggest stars: Carrie UnderwoodFlorida Georgia Line and Brad Paisley, to name a few. Countless tunes written by Gorley have made their way into the roster of country music, making the Kentucky-born songwriter a force to be reckoned with. He's been in the running for this trophy every year since 2014.

The talent behind songs such as "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Girl Crush" and "Blue Ain't Your Color," Hillary Lindsey is also the woman who co-wrote eight songs for Underwood's Blown Away album (as well as provided background vocals), and she's also written songs for Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga. Lindsey celebrated her first No. 1 more than a decade ago, with Martina McBride's "Blessed."

Shane McAnally won Songwriter of the Year in 2014, and has appeared in the nominees lineup repeatedly over the years. No wonder, since the composer / producer has written songs for stars such as Kacey MusgravesSam HuntKelly ClarksonLady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and many, many more.

No stranger to this list of nominees, Josh Osborne has made the cut multiple times but has yet to win the award. His first No. 1 hit as a songwriter was "Come Over," and since then, he's cranked out more than a dozen No. 1 songs, including contributing to Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" and "Take Your Time." Maybe it's about time for Osborne to take a win!

Who deserves Songwriter of the Year at the 2018 ACM Awards? Vote for your pick in the poll below; you can vote as often as once per hour through the end of the day on Thursday, April 12. The Boot's staff will tally the votes and use them for our readers vs. staff predictions before the show.

The 2018 ACM Awards are set to take place in Las Vegas, Nev., on April 15, and air live on CBS beginning at 8PM ET. The ceremony will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2018 ACM Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to for the latest ACMs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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