Strait, Paisley and Urban Top Early List for CMA Awards

Initial Nominees Announced in New York on Good Morning America

Brad Paisley, George Strait and Keith Urban are among the initial nominees for the 41st annual CMA Awards, it was announced Thursday morning (Aug. 30) in New York and Nashville.

All three artists are nominated in the entertainer, male vocalist and album of the year categories.

Sara Evans and Sugarland announced the partial list of nominees in New York on ABC’s Good Morning America. Montgomery Gentry and Taylor Swift are scheduled to reveal the remaining categories in Nashville during a special edition of CMT Insider also airing Thursday morning (Aug. 30).

Joining Urban, Strait and Paisley in the entertainer of the year category are Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts. The other two nominees for male vocalist are Chesney and Josh Turner.

Album of the year nominees include Paisley’s 5th Gear, Strait’s It Just Comes Natural and Urban’s Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing. Also nominated in the album category are Dierks Bentley’s Long Trip Alone and Vince Gill’s These Days.

Also announced in New York were the female vocalist and vocal duo nominees. Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood are up for female vocalist. The vocal duo nominees are Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland and the Wreckers.

The awards show takes place Nov. 7 in Nashville.

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