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Grammy Predictions: The Country Category

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Taylor Swift will probably be pleased when the Grammy nominations are announced on Friday. Her album Red is likely to be nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Country Album. Odds are she'll also be in the running for Best Country Solo Performance (for "Begin Again") and Best Country Duo/Group Performance (for "Highway Don't Care," a collabo with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban).

Swift's 2008 blockbuster Fearless won both Album of the Year and Best Country Album.

Three other past winners for Best Country Album, Lady Antebellum, Vince Gill and George Strait, also have albums in contention in that category this year, though they may be hard-pressed to make the final five.

Here are the likely nominees and runners-up for Best Country Album and in the two performance categories in the country field.

The eligibility year closed on Sept. 30. The awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at Staples Center.

Best Country Album

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Albums by Swift, Kacey Musgraves and Blake Shelton were nominated for Album of the Year at the recent Country Music Awards. (The album category there was rounded out by albums by Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town that were eligible in last year's Grammy process.) The CMA and Grammy voting bodies are different, so a nomination at that show is no guarantee that something or someone will nominated here, but it never hurt.

Likely nominees:

Luke Bryan's Crash My Party

Florida Georgia Line's Here's To The Good Times

Kacey Musgraves' Same Trailer Different Park

Taylor Swift's Red

Blake Shelton's Based On A True Story

Also possible: Lady Antebellum's Golden, Vince Gill & Paul Franklin's Bakersfield, George Strait's Love Is Everything, Glen Campbell's See You There, Sheryl Crow's Feels Like Home, Jason Aldean's Night Train, The Band Perry's Pioneer, Tim McGraw's Two Lanes Of Freedom, Pistol Annies' Annie Up, Darius Rucker's True Believers Randy Travis' Influences Vol. 1 The Man I Am, Kenny Chesney's Life On A Rock, Keith Urban's Fuse (Deluxe Version), Gary Allan's Set You Free, Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse, Willie Nelson's To All The Girls…, Various Artists, Alabama & Friends.

Best Country Solo Performance

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Women have won the award for Best Country Solo Performance in the two years it has been awarded. (Previously, males and females competed in separate categories.) Taylor Swift's "Mean" won two years ago. Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" won last year. Women will probably dominate this year's nominations, thanks to Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Swift. Underwood is a question mark: She has two big hits ("Two Black Cadillacs" and "See You Again") in contention. They could wind up spitting the vote.

The likely nominees:

Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart"

Taylor Swift's "Begin Again"

Kacey Musgraves' "Merry Go 'Round"

Darius Rucker's "Wagon Wheel"

Luke Bryan's "That's My Kind Of Night"

Also possible: Carrie Underwood's "Two Black Cadillacs," Blake Shelton's "Mine Would Be You," Jason Aldean's "Night Train," George Strait's "Give It All We Got Tonight," Hunter Hayes' "I Want Crazy," Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck," Cassadee Pope's "Wasting All These Tears," Thomas Rhett's "It Goes Like This," Keith Urban's "Little Bit Of Everything," Tim McGraw's "One Of Those Nights," Sheryl Crow's "Easy," Tyler Farr's "Redneck Crazy" and Randy Houser's "Runnin' Outta Moonlight."

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

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For the past two years, special vocal collaborations have competed with ongoing groups and duos. (The Grammys previously had a separate category for vocal collaborations.) In both years, an ongoing group or duo walked off with the prize. The Civil Wars won two years ago for "Barton Hollow." Little Big Town won last year for "Pontoon." The groups with the best chance of making the finals this year are Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum. Two vocal collaborations have a good chance of being nominated this year. Keith Urban is part of both of them.

The likely nominees:

Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise"

The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two"

Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban's "Highway Don't Care"

Keith Urban featuring Miranda Lambert's "We Were Us"

Lady Antebellum's "Downtown"

Also possible: Little Big Town's "Tornado," Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill's "Don't Rush," The Civil Wars' "From This Valley," Thompson Square's "If I Didn't Have You," Eli Young Band's "Drunk Last Night," Gloriana's "Can't Shake You," Rascal Flatts' "Changed."

Who and what do you think will be nominated? Weigh in below.

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