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ALBUM OF THE YEAR
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ALBUM OF THE YEAR

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Music Americana Awards

Jason Isbell performs during the Americana Honors and Awards show Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NOMINEES: "From a Room: Volume 1," Chris Stapleton; "Heart Break," Lady Antebellum; "The Nashville Sound," Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit; "The Weight of These Wings," Miranda Lambert; "The Breaker," Little Big Town.

HALL: This category is always my favorite because of the quality of the nominated records. This year is a great example of the breadth of today's country music, from Isbell's top-notch writing on weighty and important topics to Stapleton's outstanding song selections and vocal recordings. But Lambert's double album is ambitious, emotional and excellent, and she should walk away a winner.

FEKADU: I, too, am happy to see Isbell's talent recognized here — he is wonderful! However, Lambert's striking and personal album showcased her growth as a singer, songwriter and country music star. It will likely be nominated for album of the year at the upcoming Grammy Awards, and it will definitely win here.

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