With 10 mentions, Alan Jackson has broken Merle Haggard ’s record for the most Country Music Association award nominations in a single year. Haggard’s nine nominations in 1970 had held the record for more than three decades.
Surprise guest Brad Paisley joined Rascal Flatts and SHeDAISY in announcing the final nominees for the 36th annual CMA Awards during a Thursday morning (Aug. 29) press conference at the Coliseum in Nashville.
In addition to entertainer of the year and male vocalist nominations, Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” and “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” each received nominations for single, song and video of the year. Both songs are included on Drive, which received an album of the year nomination. Additionally, Jackson’s duet with George Strait on “Designated Drinker” is nominated for vocal event of the year.
Toby Keith followed Jackson with an impressive six nominations, including entertainer of the year and male vocalist. Keith’s controversial “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” is nominated for single and song of the year. Keith also received an album of the year nomination for Pull My Chain and a video nomination for “I Wanna Talk About Me.”
Other multiple nominees include Paisley and Strait, who received four each, along with Kenny Chesney and Alison Krauss , who scored three each. Brooks & Dunn , Martina McBride , Willie Nelson , Lee Ann Womack , Nickel Creek and Rascal Flatts received two nominations each.
With an unrelenting tour schedule, Chesney has become one of country music’s top concert draws. The hard work has paid big dividends, as demonstrated by his nominations for entertainer and male vocalist of the year. Chesney’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems is up for album of the year.
Brooks & Dunn join Chesney, Jackson, Keith and Strait in the entertainer of the year category. Paisley’s four nominations include a male vocalist nod alongside Chesney, Jackson, Keith and Strait. Reigning CMA female vocalist of the year Womack is nominated in that category with Sara Evans , Krauss, McBride and Trisha Yearwood .
Among other superstar acts, Garth Brooks ’ duet with George Jones on “Beer Run” netted a vocal event nomination. The Dixie Chicks , who spent much of the past year working on their new album, are nominated for vocal group.