Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood grabbed three nominations each to lead the pack for 2007 CMT Music Awards, country music’s only fan-voted awards. Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush revealed the list of final nominees Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 28) during a press conference at CMT’s offices in Nashville.
Sugarland landed two nominations, with “Want To” included in the video of the year and duo video categories. The Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean and the Wreckers also received two nominations each. It’s the Dixie Chicks’ first CMT award nominations since 2003. Keith is the CMT Music Awards’ most-awarded artist.
The new Wide Open Country video of the year category, a designation for pushing the boundaries of country music, provided rock legend Sting his first CMT Music Awards nomination less than three weeks after his band, the Police, announced plans to reunite for a national tour scheduled to begin in May. Sting and Sheryl Crow share the nomination for “Always on Your Side.” Also nominated in the Wide Open Country division are Jimmy Buffett’s “Bama Breeze,” the late Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” and Jack Ingram’s “Love You.
This year’s nominees also include Gary Allan, Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Josh Turner, Keith Urban and Gretchen Wilson.
Fans will have an even bigger say in this year’s awards show by voting on which of three songs Rascal Flatts will perform to open the show. Online voting will continue through April 13 for “Life Is a Highway,” “Me and My Gang” and “Fast Cars and Freedom.” Others previously announced to perform on the show include Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Chesney, McGraw, Underwood and Sugarland.
The awards show airs live April 16 from The Curb Event Center at Nashville’s Belmont University. It will also be streamed online at CMT.com and broadcast nationally by CMT Radio.
Jeff Foxworthy hosts the show for a third consecutive year. Tickets to the show go on sale Saturday (March 3) at 10 a.m. CT at CMT.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.
Fans can vote online at CMT.com through April 13 to determine the night’s winners in all but one category. The final nominees for video of the year will be announced at the beginning of the show, and fans can vote in that category at CMT.com and via mobile phone throughout the live broadcast. Clips of the nominated videos are available for free streaming at CMT.com.