In an industry sometimes dominated by men, 2016 was the year of the female country artist in more ways than one.

Whether it was Kelsea Ballerini making history or Miranda Lambert receiving the first-ever award commemorating the legacy of Merle Haggard, every woman nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year is certainly deserving of the title.

The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year six years and counting, Lambert could easily take home the honor for a seventh time, especially considering the fact that the "Vice" singer spent most of the year on the road for her Keeper of the Flame Tour and, in September, accepted the first-ever Merle Haggard Spirit Award. But the country music mainstay has stiff competition this year, especially from newcomer Maren Morris, who rules the CMA Awards nominees list this year with nods for everything from her debut single to her debut album. Morris may seem new to the country game, but she actually self-released music in her teens, gave up on performing when she was 21, became a songwriter and then came back to her true calling as an artist herself. A win at the 2016 CMA Awards would be incredible validation.

Another newcomer who could take home the trophy for Female Vocalist of the Year has already made recording history. When Ballerini's single "Peter Pan" hit the No. 1 spot on the country charts, the 23-year-old became the first female in country music to hit No. 1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album. Combine that with her first headlining tour this fall, and Ballerini is having one awesome 2016.

But not to be outdone, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood are also strong contenders for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2016 CMAs. Not only did her Country & Western Rhinestone Revue continue from 2015 into the new year, but Musgraves' Pageant Material album was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Album in 2016. Underwood's Storyteller Tour, meanwhile, delighted fans, and in August, she took home a trophy at the ACM Honors: the Cary Huber Lifting Lives Award, recognizing her commitment to serving others and helping those in need.

Who should win Female Vocalist 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.

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