Miranda Lambert awards
Miranda Lambert was the big winner at the ACMs 2015 REUTERS/Mike Stone

The competition will be fierce at the Academy Of Country Music (ACM) awards 2016, with some of the biggest names in country music hoping to return home as winners. Hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena, the night will also see performances from Blake Shelton, Little Big Town and Chris Stapleton, as well as a duet of Jolene between Dolly Parton and Katy Perry.

As country music's biggest stars prepare to enjoy what is billed as the genre's "party of the year", IBTimes UK reveals our predictions on who will triumph in the four major categories.

Entertainer of the year

Jason Aldean

Garth Brooks

Luke Bryan – predicted WINNER

Eric Church

Miranda Lambert

First of all, hats off to Miranda Lambert for being the only female musician nominated in one of the top categories. However, Bryan deserves to take the gong on this one after a tremendous 2015, which saw him top the US Billboard country chart with his fifth studio album Kill The Lights. Having sold one million copies, the record was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA).

Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan is a hot contender to win entertainer of the year at the ACMs 2016 REUTERS/David McNew

Male vocalist of the year

Jason Aldean

Dierks Bentley

Eric Church

Brett Eldredge

Chris Stapleton – predicted WINNER

Having lived in the shadows for far too long, Stapleton came into his own as an artist in 2015. The 37-year-old has written for the likes of Adele, Tim McGraw and Sheryl Crow but the full extent of his talents were realised with the release of his debut album, Traveller, in May 2015. In addition to topping the country charts, Stapleton shifted more than a million copies of the record and dominated the airwaves with singles such as Traveller and Nobody To Blame.

Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton wrote songs for some of music's biggest artists before releasing his own album Traveller in 2015 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Female vocalist of the year

Kelsea Ballerini

Jana Kramer

Miranda Lambert

Kacey Musgraves

Carrie Underwood – predicted WINNER

Underwood has been on the scene for more than a decade, but the quality of her music hasn't faltered. Three years after the release of her fourth album, Underwood returned to the top of the charts with Storyteller, which featured the stunning single Heartbreak – 2015 was her year.

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood returned to the charts in 2015 with fifth album Storyteller Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images

Album of the year

I'm Comin' Over – Chris Young

Montevallo – Sam Hunt

Mr Misunderstood – Eric Church

Tangled Up – Thomas Rhett

Traveller – Chris Stapleton – predicted WINNER

The competition for most coveted album of the year category is a tough toss-up between Sam Hunt and Stapleton, both of whom released their debut albums in 2015. The latter has a pretty strong chance given the impact his album had on not just the country charts, but the Billboard 200 itself, which it topped in May. Stapleton winning this coveted accolade would be a most poetic climax to what has been a thrilling arrival to the main stage of country.

Chris Stapleton Traveller album
Chris Stapleton's debut album Traveller sold more than a million copies and was certified platinum by the RIAA Mercury Nashville