Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley Lead CMA Nominations

Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban Also Among Top Nominees

Brooks & Dunn and Brad Paisley grabbed six nominations each Wednesday morning (Aug. 30) to emerge as the frontrunners at this year’s CMA Awards. Additionally, newcomer Carrie Underwood received her first-ever CMA nominations — four of them, to be exact — to tie this year with Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban.

Paisley and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles were in New York to announce the nominees in five categories during the broadcast of ABC’s Good Morning America. Jason Aldean and Little Big Town announced the remaining categories live from Nashville’s Gaylord Entertainment Center during a special telecast of CMT Insider hosted by CMT’s Katie Cook and Lance Smith.

If you count Ronnie Dunn’s additional nomination in the song of the year category, Brooks & Dunn actually garnered nominations in seven categories. Dunn received his first individual nomination for co-writing the duo’s hit, “I Believe,” with Nashville songwriter Craig Wiseman.
(The CMA’s song of the year award goes only to songwriters and publishers — not artists.)

“Believe” resulted in two nominations for Brooks & Dunn in the single and music video categories. The duo also picked up an album of the year mention for Hillbilly Deluxe and a musical event of the year nomination for their collaboration with Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow on “Building Bridges.” They’re also up for entertainer of the year (which they won in 1996) and vocal duo (an almost compulsory inclusion after winning the category 13 times).

Paisley, who has five career wins at the CMAs, is nominated for entertainer of the year and male vocalist. With an album of the year nomination for Time Well Wasted, his collaboration with Dolly Parton on “When I Get Where I’m Going” is up for single, music video and musical event.

Since the November 2005 release of her triple-platinum debut album, Some Hearts, Underwood has demonstrated that her career was just getting started when she won the American Idol talent competition just a few months before. Her nomination in the Horizon category was a given, but she’s also included in the female vocalist field with Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson. Her chart-topping recording of “Jesus, Take the Wheel” is nominated in the single and music video categories. “Jesus, Take the Wheel” also resulted in song of the year nominations Hillary Lindsey, Brett James and Gordie Sampson.

Chesney and Urban are each up for male vocalist and entertainer of the year. Chesney also logged an album of the year mention for The Road and the Radio and a single of the year nod for “Summertime.” Urban’s “Better Life” is nominated for single of the year and “Tonight I Wanna Cry” for song of the year. Urban, who won male vocalist and entertainer of the year last year, co-wrote “Tonight I Wanna Cry” with Monty Powell.

Rascal Flatts enjoyed their first entertainer of the year nomination to join Brooks & Dunn, Paisley, Chesney and Urban in the category. Dierks Bentley and Alan Jackson are in the male vocalist running with Chesney, Paisley and Urban.

Rascal Flatts and Dolly Parton scored three nominations each. Artists receiving two nominations each include Big & Rich, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Sugarland and Gretchen Wilson.

Brooks & Dunn will host the 2006 CMA Awards live from Nashville on Nov. 6. This marks the first time the event has taken place at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

Here’s a complete list of this year’s CMA nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Brooks & Dunn
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Rascal Flatts
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist
Sara Evans
Faith Hill
Martina McBride
Carrie Underwood
Gretchen Wilson

Male Vocalist
Dierks Bentley
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Brad Paisley
Keith Urban

Vocal Group
Alison Krauss & Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas
Little Big Town
Lonestar
Rascal Flatts
Sugarland

Vocal Duo
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Van Zant
The Wreckers

Horizon Award
Miranda Lambert
Little Big Town
Sugarland
Josh Turner
Carrie Underwood

Album of the Year
(Award goes to artist and producer.)

Hillbilly Deluxe
Artist: Brooks & Dunn
Producers: Ronnie Dunn, Kix Brooks, Mark Wright, Tom Shapiro, Tony Brown and Bob DiPiero
Arista Nashville

Me and My Gang
Artist: Rascal Flatts
Producers: Dann Huff and Rascal Flatts
Lyric Street Records

Precious Memories
Artist: Alan Jackson
Producer: Keith Stegall
Arista Nashville

The Road and the Radio
Artist: Kenny Chesney
Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records

Time Well Wasted
Artist: Brad Paisley
Producers: Chris DuBois and Frank Rogers
Arista Nashville

Single of the Year
(Award goes to artist and producer.)

“Believe”
Artist: Brooks & Dunn
Producers: Tony Brown, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn
Arista Nashville

“Better Life”
Artist: Keith Urban
Producers: Dann Huff and Keith Urban
Capitol Records Nashville

“Jesus, Take the Wheel”
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Producer: Mark Bright
Arista Nashville

“Summertime”
Artist: Kenny Chesney
Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records

“When I Get Where I’m Going”
Artists: Brad Paisley (Featuring Dolly Parton)
Producers: Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois
Arista Nashville

Song of the Year
(Award goes to songwriter and primary publisher.)

“8th of November”
Songwriters: Big Kenny and John Rich
Publishers: Big Love Music, WB Music and Rich Texan Music

“Believe”
Songwriters: Craig Wiseman and Ronnie Dunn
Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree, Showbilly Music and Big Loud Shirt

“Jesus, Take the Wheel”
Songwriters: Hillary Lindsey, Brett James and Gordie Sampson
Publishers: Dimensional Music of 1091, Raylene Music, No Such Music and Passing Stranger

“Tonight I Wanna Cry”
Songwriters: Keith Urban and Monty Powell
Publishers: Universal Music, Lanark Village Tunes, Guitar Monkey Music and Coburn Music

“When I Get Where I’m Going”
Songwriters: Rivers Rutherford and George Teren
Publishers: Universal Music, Memphersfield Music and House of Full Circle Music

Musical Event

“Building Bridges”
Artists: Brooks & Dunn (Guest vocals by Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill)
Arista Nashville

“Like We Never Loved at All”
Artists: Faith Hill (Featuring Tim McGraw)
Warner Bros. Records

“Politically Uncorrect”
Artists: Gretchen Wilson (Featuring Merle Haggard)
Epic Records

“When I Get Where I’m Going”
Artists: Brad Paisley (Featuring Dolly Parton)
Arista Nashville

“Who Says You Can’t Go Home”
Artists: Bon Jovi (Duet With Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland)
Island Records

Music Video of the Year
(Award goes to artist and director)

“8th of November”
Artist: Big & Rich
Directors: Robert Deaton, George J. Flanigen IV and Marc Oswald

“Believe”
Artist: Brooks & Dunn
Directors: Robert Deaton and George J. Flanigen IV

“Jesus, Take the Wheel”
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Director: Roman White

“Kerosene”
Artist: Miranda Lambert
Director: Trey Fanjoy

“When I Get Where I’m Going”
Artist: Brad Paisley (Featuring Dolly Parton)
Director: Jim Shea

Musician
Eddie Bayers — Drums
Jerry Douglas — Dobro
Paul Franklin — Steel Guitar
Dann Huff — Guitar
Brent Mason — Guitar, Electric Guitar
Randy Scruggs — Guitar

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.