Country Music's Top And Rising Stars Lead ACM Award Nominations

Nominations have been announced for the 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Winners will receive their awards during the event to be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 18 at 8 p.m.ET/delayed PT on CBS.

The nominees were announced at a press conference held today at the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Participating in the press conference were multi-platinum recording artists Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, the Academy’s current Top Male Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist. Paisley and Underwood read nominations live during a CBS 'The Early Show' broadcast, which also included live performances by Rodney Atkins and Miranda Lambert, the Academy’s reining Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Female Vocalist, respectively.

It was also announced that for the first time in Academy of Country Music history, fans will choose the winner of the Academy’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year. Fan voting begins May 5 and more details on how to participate will be announced at a later date.

This morning Kenny Chesney led with eleven nominations, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. In addition, Chesney was nominated as an artist and producer for Album of the Year for Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year for “Don’t Blink.” If Chesney wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his fourth consecutive win.

Rodney Atkins is nominated for six awards including Top Male Vocalist. He is also nominated for Song of the Year and Video of the Year for “Watching You” and Album of the Year for If You’re Going Through Hell. He won Top New Male Vocalist last year.

Brad Paisley is nominated in four categories, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, Album of the Year for 5th Gear and Video of the Year for “Online.” Last year, Paisley won Top Male Vocalist.

Big & Rich received four nominations including Top Vocal Duo and, for the song "Lost in this Moment," Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year. John Rich is nominated for a producer and writer award, and Big Kenny is nominated for two producing awards.

Sugarland was also nominated for four awards including Top Vocal Duo, and for the song “Stay,” Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year. Jennifer Nettles also received two nominations for writing and producing, and Kristian Bush received one for producing.

Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift received three nominations each. Both received nominations this year for Top Female Vocalist. Lambert was also nominated for her album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and for Single Record of the Year for "Famous in a Small Town." She was last year's Top New Female Vocalist. Swift was also nominated this year for Top New Female Vocalist and her album Taylor Swift was nominated for Album of the Year.

Members of the Academy of Country Music select the nominees and winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards, including selection of the final top five nominees of the Entertainer of the Year category. This year, for the first time ever, fans will have the opportunity to select the winner from the Entertainer of the Year nominees (more information to be released at a later date). Presenters and performers who will appear on the special will be announced.

Following is the list of final nominees in the 13 categories voted on by the membership. Winners in each of the following categories will be presented with an Academy of Country Music Award during the live television broadcast:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
- Kenny Chesney
- Brad Paisley
- Rascal Flatts
- George Strait
- Keith Urban

TOP MALE VOCALIST
- Rodney Atkins
- Kenny Chesney
- Brad Paisley
- George Strait
- Keith Urban

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST
- Miranda Lambert
- Martina McBride
- LeAnn Rimes
- Taylor Swift
- Carrie Underwood

TOP VOCAL GROUP
- Diamond Rio
- Eagles
- Emerson Drive
- Little Big Town
- Rascal Flatts

TOP VOCAL DUO
- Big & Rich
- Brooks & Dunn
- Halfway To Hazard
- Montgomery Gentry
- Sugarland

TOP NEW MALE VOCALIST
- Luke Bryan
- Jack Ingram
- Jake Owen

TOP NEW FEMALE VOCALIST
- Sarah Buxton
- Kellie Pickler
- Taylor Swift

TOP NEW DUO OR VOCAL GROUP
- Carolina Rain
- Lady Antebellum
- The Wreckers

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
- 5th Gear – Brad Paisley (Arista Nashville)
Produced by Frank Rogers
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Miranda Lambert (Columbia)
Produced by Frank Liddell, Mike Wrucke
- Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates – Kenny Chesney (BNA)
Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
- If You’re Going Through Hell – Rodney Atkins (Curb)
Produced by Rodney Atkins, Ted Hewitt
- Taylor Swift – Taylor Swift (Big Machine)
Produced by Scott Borchetta, Nathan Chapman
No. 6 Produced by Robert Ellis Orrall

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
- Don’t Blink
Kenny Chesney, Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
BNA
- Famous In A Small Town
Miranda Lambert, Produced by Frank Liddell, Mike Wrucke
Columbia
- Lost In This Moment
Big & Rich, Produced by Big Kenny, John Rich
Warner Bros/WRN
- Stay
Sugarland, Produced by Kristian Bush, Byron Gallimore, Jennifer Nettles
Mercury
- Watching Airplanes
Gary Allan, Produced by Gary Allan , Mark Wright
MCA Nashville

SONG OF THE YEAR [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
- Don’t Blink
Kenny Chesney
Writers: Casey Beathard, Chris Wallin
Publishers: Lavender Zoo Music (BMI), Mama’s Dream Music (ASCAP), Sony/ATV Acuff Rose (BMI), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
- Lost In This Moment
Big & Rich
Writers: Keith Anderson, Rodney Clawson, John Rich
Publishers: EMI April Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Romeo Cowboy Music (ASCAP), WB Music
Corp. (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI), Writer’s Extreme Music (BMI)
- Moments
Emerson Drive
Writers: Dave Berg, Annie Tate, Sam Tate
Publishers: Gravitron (SESAC), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
- Watching You
Rodney Atkins
Writers: Rodney Atkins, Steve Dean, Brian White
Publishers: Bethar Music (BMI), Mike Curb Music (BMI), Multisongs (SESAC), Songs
From The White House (SESAC)
- Stay
Sugarland
Writer: Jennifer Nettles
Publishers: Jennifer Nettles Publishing (ASCAP)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]
- Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney
Producer: Tacklebox Films
Director: Shaun Silva
- Lost In This Moment – Big & Rich
Producer: Big Kenny, Steve Lamar, Marc Oswald
Director: Robert Deaton and George Flanigen
- Online – Brad Paisley
Producer: Frames Per Second
Director: Jason Alexander
- Stay – Sugarland
Producer: Kristian Bush, Byron Gallimore, Jennifer Nettles
Director: Shaun Silva
- Watching You – Rodney Atkins
Producer: Broken Poet Production
Director: Eric Welch

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
- Because Of You – Reba McEntire Duet With Kelly Clarkson
Produced by Tony Brown, Reba McEntire
MCA Nashville
- Find Out Who Your Friends Are – Tracy Lawrence With Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney
Produced by Julian King, Tracy Lawrence
Rocky Comfort/CO5
- Shiftwork – Kenny Chesney Duet With George Strait
Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
BNA
- Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore – Bon Jovi Featuring LeAnn Rimes
Produced by Dann Huff
Mecury
- What You Give Away –Vince Gill With Sheryl Crow
Produced by Vince Gill, John Hobbs, Justin Niebank
MCA Nashville

Nominees in the technical or off-camera categories will be announced later in March. You may check back at www.acmcountry.com for more information.

For more information on the Academy of Country Music Awards please visit www.acmcountry.com. For more information on the Academy of Country Music Charitable Fund please visit www.acmcf.org.

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.