Kenny Chesney Gets Seven Nominations to Lead Pack at This Year’s CMA Awards

Sugarland, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley Among Other Top Nominees Announced Wednesday

Kenny Chesney grabbed nominations in seven categories Wednesday morning (Sept. 10) to lead the list of nominees for the 42nd annual CMA Awards. Jennifer Nettles followed close behind with a total of six nominations, including one as a songwriter and five as a member of Sugarland. George Strait snared five nominations, and Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley scored four each for the awards show taking place Nov. 12 in Nashville.

Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift were in New York to announce the nominees in five of the 12 categories during a live segment on ABC’s Good Morning America. James Otto and Lady Antebellum revealed the nominees in the remaining categories during a special edition of CMT Insider live from Nashville’s Sommet Center.

Rascal Flatts received another nomination as vocal group of the year, a category they’ve dominated for five consecutive years. Swift is nominated for female vocalist after winning the Horizon Award at last year’s ceremony. Otto and Lady Antebellum are nominated for new artist, a new category that replaces the Horizon Award this year.

Chesney, the CMA’s reigning entertainer of the year, is nominated again in that category in a field that also includes Strait, Paisley, Sugarland and Keith Urban. Additionally, Chesney is nominated for male vocalist, album of the year (for Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates) and single of the year (for “Don’t Blink”). He also finds himself with two nominations in the musical event category for his work with Reba McEntire on “Every Other Weekend” and his collaboration with George Strait on “Shiftwork.” Chesney and director Shaun Silva share a music video nomination for “Don’t Blink.” And while Chesney is nominated in seven categories, he also stands to win two additional trophies in the album and single divisions for his work as co-producer with Buddy Cannon.

Nettles and musical partner Kristian Bush share five nominations as Sugarland. Besides the entertainer of the year nomination — their first in that field — they’re also nominated for vocal duo and in the musical event category for “Life in a Northern Town,” which features Little Big Town and Jake Owen. Sugarland and Silva are nominated for music video of the year for “Stay,” their hit that also garnered a single of the year nomination for the duo. Nettles’ sixth nomination this year comes as the sole writer of “Stay.”

Aside from his entertainer of the year and musical event nominations, Strait is also being considered for male vocalist, album of the year (Troubadour) and single of the year (“I Saw God Today”).

Jackson is nominated for male vocalist and album of the year for Good Time. Additionally, the title track resulted in a song of the year nomination for Jackson and a music video mention for Jackson and director Trey Fanjoy.

Paisley’s entertainer of the year nod is supplemented with a nomination as male vocalist, a prize he took home in 2007. As a songwriter, Paisley’s “Letter to Me” is up for song of the year. He and director Jim Shea are nominated in the music video division for “Waitin’ on a Woman,” a production that prominently features veteran actor Andy Griffith.

This year’s CMA Awards show will be held at the Sommet Center and will be broadcast live on ABC.

Here’s a complete list of nominees for the 42nd annual CMA Awards:

Entertainer of the Year

Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Sugarland
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist

Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist

Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban

New Artist

Jason Aldean
Rodney Atkins
Lady Antebellum
James Otto
Kellie Pickler

Vocal Group

Eagles
Emerson Drive
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts

Vocal Duo

Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Sugarland
The Wreckers

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

“Don’t Blink”
Kenny Chesney
Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records

“Gunpowder & Lead”
Miranda Lambert
Producers: Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke
Columbia Records

“I Saw God Today”
George Strait
Producers: Tony Brown and George Strait
MCA Nashville

“Stay”
Sugarland
Producers: Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
Mercury Nashville

“You’re Gonna Miss This”
Trace Adkins
Producer: Frank Rogers
Capitol Records Nashville

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

Carnival Ride
Carrie Underwood
Producer: Mark Bright
19 Records Limited/Arista Nashville

Cowboy Town
Brooks & Dunn
Producers: Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks
Arista Nashville

Good Time
Alan Jackson
Producer: Keith Stegall
Arista Nashville

Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Kenny Chesney
Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records

Troubadour
George Strait
Producers: Tony Brown and George Strait
MCA Nashville

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

“Good Time”
Songwriter: Alan Jackson
Publishers: EMI-April Music, Tri-Angels Music

“I Saw God Today”
Songwriters: Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell and Wade Kirby
Publishers: Big Red Toe, Extremely Loud Music, Steel Wheels Music, Blind Mule Music

“Letter to Me”
Songwriter: Brad Paisley
Publishers: EMI-April Music, New Sea Gayle Music

“Stay”
Songwriter: Jennifer Nettles
Publisher: Jennifer Nettles Publishing

“You’re Gonna Miss This”
Songwriters: Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller
Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music, New Songs of Sea Gayle, Noah’s Little Boat Music, Songs of Combustion Music

Musical Event
(Award goes to each artist.)

“Another Try”
Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood
MCA Nashville

“Every Other Weekend”
Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney
MCA Nashville

“Gone, Gone, Gone”
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Rounder Records

“Life in a Northern Town”
Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen
Mercury Nashville

“Shiftwork”
Kenny Chesney (duet with George Strait)
BNA Records

Music Video
(Award goes to artist and director.)

“Don’t Blink”
Kenny Chesney
Director: Shaun Silva

“Good Time”
Alan Jackson
Director: Trey Fanjoy

“Stay”
Sugarland
Director: Shaun Silva

“Waitin’ on a Woman”
Brad Paisley
Director: Jim Shea

“You’re Gonna Miss This”
Trace Adkins
Director: Peter Zavadil

Musician
Jerry Douglas — Dobro
Paul Franklin — Steel guitar
Dann Huff — Guitar
Brent Mason — Guitar
Mac McAnally — Guitar

View photos from the CMA award nominee announcements in New York and Nashville.

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.