New Artist of the Year -- this CMA honor doesn't just tell fans which newcomer made the biggest splash in 2016, it tells them who they should look to make an even bigger impact in 2017. And with this year's crop of nominees -- Cole Swindell, Brothers OsborneOld DominionKelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris -- the race is certainly going to be a tight one.

Swindell's nomination for New Artist of the Year may come as a surprise to some, considering that he already took home an ACM in the same category last year, but given the huge year that the "You Should Be Here" singer has had, he's certainly deserving of the honor. Whether he was releasing one of his five consecutive No. 1 singles, debuting his sophomore album to immense popularity or announcing a two-month tour this fall, one thing is clear: Swindell certainly deserves recognition for his hard work.

The year 2016 has been a big one for new female artists, and Morris is a huge part of the reason why. In June, she released her debut studio album Hero and watched it fly up the charts almost immediately, as it debuted at No. 1 on the country charts. Then there was "My Church," which is also nominated for Song of the Year; in fact, Morris leads the pack of nominees at the 2016 CMA Awards with seven nods! Will she be this year's Chris Stapleton?

Old Dominion have already staked their claim as successful songwriters, but their nomination for New Artist of the Year comes after the band burst onto the scene in their own right over the past year. In November of 2015, the group released their debut disc to critical acclaim and followed it up with their first No. 1 single. And after two summers on the road with Kenny Chseney, the boys finally have a tour of their own, as they'll hit up over two dozen cities this fall on the Meat and Candy Tour. Will they add a CMA to their growing list of accomplishments?

When Ballerini released her debut album in May of 2015, who could have known that the country-pop singer would make history? The First Time was a three-time win for the "Peter Pan" performer, making Ballerini the first female artist in country music history to hit No. 1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album. Add to that a successful run opening for Rascal Flatts on their Rhythm and Roots Tour and a headlining tour of her own, and this girl may be having the biggest year of her life. Do you think it will also earn her a New Artist of the Year Award?

With a critically acclaimed debut album and a headlining tour, it's no wonder why TJ and John Osborne -- better known as Brothers Osborne -- are up for New Artist of the Year at the 50th annual CMA Awards. They also caught the eye (and ear!) of Miranda Lambert, who took the duo on the road for her Keeper of the Flame Tour this summer.

Who should win New Artist 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.

Surprises and Snubs Among the 2016 CMA Awards Nominees

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