It was one for the record books when the final list of nominees for “The 44th Annual CMA Awards” was announced today, with fresh faces layered throughout the field of finalists vying for a coveted crystal trophy on “Country Music’s Biggest Night™.”
“The 44th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted for the third time by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, WEDNESDAY,
NOVEMBER 10 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Records were set and the bar has been raised with this exciting group of nominees,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “There will be a heightened level of excitement and anticipation for the CMA Awards in November.”
For the fifth year, the announcement of the final nominees in five of the 12 CMA Awards categories was made on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.” Nominees Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert delivered the news from the “Good Morning America” studios in the heart of New York City’s Times Square. Finalists in the other seven categories were announced yesterday in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium by Justin Moore and first-time nominee Chris Young.
When the final nominations were tallied, Lambert led the list of finalists with nine nominations – the most for any female artist in the history of the CMA Awards. Alan Jackson received 10 nominations in 2002. Prior to that, Merle Haggard held the record with nine in 1970.
Lambert received nominations for Entertainer; Female Vocalist; Album for Revolution, produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke; two for Single, “The House That Built Me” and “White Liar;” Song for “White Liar,” which she wrote with Natalie Hemby; Musical Event, for “Bad Angel” with Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson; and two for Music Video of the Year for “The House That Built Me,” directed by Trey Fanjoy, and “White Liar,” directed by Chris Hicky.
Lady Antebellum garnered the second highest number of CMA Awards nominations with five including Entertainer; Album for Need You Now; Vocal Group; Single for “Need You Now”; and Music Video of the Year for “Need You Now,” which was directed by David McClister. Group members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott each received individual nominations for Song of the Year for “Need You Now,” which they penned with songwriter Josh Kear. The group can receive two additional trophies as producers for Single and Album of the Year with Paul Worley.
Third on the list of nominees was Zac Brown Band with four nominations for Entertainer; Vocal Group; Musical Event for “Can’t You See” featuring Kid Rock; and New Artist of the Year.
The last time an act was nominated for New Artist and Entertainer of the Year in the same year was Ricky Skaggs in 1982. Bandmates Zac Brown and John Driskell Hopkins each pick up an additional individual nomination for Song of the Year for “Toes,” which they wrote with Wyatt Durrette and Shawn Mullins.
Tying with Zac Brown Band was Blake Shelton, who received four nominations including Male Vocalist; and Single (produced by Scott Hendricks); Musical Event; and Music Video (director Roman White) for “Hillbilly Bone,” which featured Trace Adkins. As a result, Adkins picked up three nominations of his own for his contribution to the raucous duet.
Bentley wasn’t only handing out the good news, he was also the recipient of three nominations. Bentley’s nods include Male Vocalist; Album for Up On The Ridge, which was produced by Jon Randall Stewart; and Musical Event of the Year for “Bad Angel” with Lambert and Johnson.
Sharing the three-spot was CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley, who received nominations for Entertainer; Male Vocalist; and Music Video of the Year for “Water,” which was directed by Jim Shea. Paisley’s nominations this year push him from No. 5 to No. 3 for the artist with the most career nominations. He has been nominated every year since 2000 and has amassed an incredible 52 career nominations to date. Only George Strait (81) and Alan Jackson (79) have more.
A perennial favorite of CMA voters, Strait received two nominations this year for Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for Twang, which Strait produced with Tony Brown. Brown leads the list of nominees among non-performers with 38 career nominations. In 27 years, Strait has only been shut out of CMA Awards nominations two times in 1992 and 2006.
Co-host Carrie Underwood also received two nominations including Female Vocalist and Album of the Year for Play On, which was produced by Mark Bright and Max Martin.
Underwood won Female Vocalist of the Year in 2006, 2007 and 2008. If Underwood wins the Female Vocalist of the Year trophy again, it will tie her with Martina McBride (1999, 2002-2004) and Reba McEntire (1984-1987) for most wins in this category. All three are nominated again in 2010 with Lambert and Taylor Swift, who won the trophy in 2009.
McEntire’s 2010 nomination keeps her in first place as the female artist with the most career CMA Awards nominations (49). Her first was for the Horizon Award in 1983.
Keith Urban received two nominations for Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year. Urban won Entertainer in 2005 and Male Vocalist of the Year three times (2004, 2005, and 2006). Urban and Paisley are the senior members of the Entertainer class. The last time three acts debuted in the category was 1981 with Alabama, George Jones, and the Oak Ridge Boys.
A new name with multiple nominations was Easton Corbin. He was nominated for New Artist (formerly the Horizon Award) and Single of the Year for “A Little More Country Than That,” which was produced by Carson Chamberlain. Songwriters Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress and Wynn Varble were nominated for Song of the Year for the No. 1 song.
Feek is also half of the duo Joey + Rory, who received a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year. Rounding out the Vocal Duo category were Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, newcomers Steel Magnolia and Sugarland, who won the Award in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Nearing the end of their farewell tour, Brooks & Dunn have been nominated in the category every year since 1992 and have won a record 14 times.
Last year Zac Brown Band made its debut in the Vocal Group of the Year category and this year The Band Perry are on the list for the first time. Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts complete the nominees for Vocal Group of the Year.
Making their CMA Awards debut in the New Artist of the Year category are Luke Bryan, Corbin, Jerrod Niemann and Chris Young. Zac Brown Band received its second New Artist of the Year nomination this year. Artists can only be included in this category two times.
Dave Matthews received his first CMA Awards nomination this year for Musical Event of the Year with Kenny Chesney for “I’m Alive.” Alan Jackson and Lee Ann Womack also received a Musical Event nomination for “Till the End.”
The Musician of the Year category included Paul Franklin, Dann Huff, Brent Mason, Mac McAnally and Randy Scruggs. Each has been nominated in the past. The Musician of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year were the only two categories out of 12 that didn’t have a first-time nominee in the mix.