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Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert lead ACM nominations

March 2, 2010 |  6:00 am

Lady Antebellum 2

Lady Antebellum continues its ascent in country music circles, nabbing a field-leading seven nominations for the 45th Academy of Country Music Awards, among them album, single, song and top vocal group.

The Georgia trio is the hottest act in all of pop music at the moment, having sold more than 1 million copies of its sophomore album “Need You Now” in the four weeks since it was released in January. Lady Antebellum just edged out Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, who scored six nominations each, and Taylor Swift with five nods. It creates a roster of top award contenders heavy on new blood.

Swift, who upset a slate of country veterans at last fall’s Country Music Assn. Awards in being named that organization’s youngest entertainer of the year winner ever, is in the running for the same trophy at this year’s ACMs. The organization expanded the entertainer category to include eight names this year, up from the usual five: the other nominees are Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Keith Urban and the Zac Brown Band.

Voting for entertainer of the year will be open once again to fans, and audience input also will be factored into the award for best new artist. Awards will be handed out April 18 at a ceremony from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, to be telecast on CBS.

--Randy Lewis

Photo of Lady Antebellum (left to right): Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood. Credit: Miranda Penn Turin

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