Brad Paisley earns six Country Music Association nominations [Updated]
Brad Paisley leads the pack with six nominations for the 43rd Country Music Assn. Awards announced this morning, including entertainer of the year, male vocalist, album, single and song. Teenage country music sensation Taylor Swift joins Paisley and veterans Kenny Chesney, George Strait and Keith Urban vying for entertainer of the year, the CMA’s top trophy.
Swift, Strait and relative newcomers Jamey Johnson and Zac Brown are tied at four nominations apiece, reflecting an influx of new blood into the CMA honors. Strait’s nominations for entertainer, male vocalist, music video and music event give him a career total of 79, tying him with Alan Jackson for the most nominations in CMA history. Strait has won 22, more than any other artist.
Swift, 19, is the only woman in the entertainer competition and the first nominated since Faith Hill in 2000. Shania Twain is the last woman to win the category, in 1999. Swift recently surpassed total album sales of 10 million copies since the release of her debut album, “Taylor Swift,” in 2006. Her sophomore effort, “Fearless,” has sold more than 4 million copies.
Swift is also up for female vocalist, music video and album for “Fearless,” which could yield two awards for her -- as artist and the album’s co-producer, with Nathan Chapman.
In the female vocalist field, Swift is nominated with Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert and Reba McEntire.
Nominees in five categories were announced live on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” by Texas singer Lee Ann Womack and Darius Rucker, who has carved out a second career as a country singer after fronting the '90s rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.
Rucker is also nominated in the new artist category with Johnson, Randy Houser, the Zac Brown Band and Jake Owen, and for male vocalist alongside Chesney, Paisley, Strait and Urban.
Album nominees in addition to Paisley’s “American Saturday Night” and Swift’s “Fearless” are Urban’s “Defying Gravity,” Sugarland’s “Love on the Inside” and Johnson’s “That Lonesome Song.” Nominated singles are the Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried,” Johnson’s “In Color,” Paisley’s “Then,” Lady Antebellum’s “I Run to You” and Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy.”
Nominees for song of the year, an award that goes to songwriters, are “Chicken Fried” (written by Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette), “I Told You So” (Randy Travis), “In Color” (Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto), “People Are Crazy” (Bobby Braddock, Troy Jones) and “Then” (Paisley, Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley).
Possibly the most surprising entry in this year’s nominees is the Raconteurs, the rock band formed by Jack White of the White Stripes and Brendan Benson. They collaborated with bluegrass veteran Ricky Skaggs and singer Ashley Monroe on the song “Old Enough,” which is among the nominees for musical event of the year.
Winners will be announced Nov. 11 in Nashville in a ceremony to be telecast on ABC. Paisley and Underwood, the CMA’s reigning male and female vocalist of the year winners, will host the show.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Taylor Swift. Credit: Getty Images