Brad Paisley Leads List of CMA Nominees

Nominations Announced in New York and Nashville

Updated: Sept. 10, 2009, 6 p.m. ET. — This story was updated to reflect Brad Paisley and Keith Urban’s additional CMA Awards nomination for “Start a Band.” The CMA omitted the performance from the musical event of the year category when the nominees were officially announced on Sept. 9.

With seven nominations, Brad Paisley emerged as the frontrunner when the nominees for the 43rd annual CMA Awards were announced Wednesday (Sept. 9) in New York and Nashville. Keith Urban followed close behind with five nominations, and Jamey Johnson, George Strait, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown each received four.

Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack announced the final nominees in five of the 12 categories during a telecast Good Morning America at the ABC News studios in New York’s Times Square. Randy Houser announced the candidates in the other categories at CMT’s studios in Nashville on Insider Special Edition: 2009 CMA Awards Nominations, hosted by CMT personalities Cody Alan and Alecia Davis.

Rucker, once primarily known as the lead vocalist for Hootie & the Blowfish, picked up his first CMA nominations as a solo country artist. He’s nominated in the new artist and male vocalist categories. Womack and Strait share a nomination for musical event of the year for “Everything but Quits,” a duet featured on her Call Me Crazy album.

In addition to nominations for entertainer of the year and male vocalist, Paisley received an album of the year nomination for American Saturday Night and single and song of the year nominations for “Then,” the single he co-wrote with Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley. Paisley’s collaboration with Keith Urban on “Start a Band” netted a music video of the year nomination for them and director Jim Shea. “Start a Band” is also up for musical event of the year.

Urban’s other nominations include entertainer of the year, male vocalist and album of the year (for Defying Gravity).

Strait also received nominations for entertainer of the year and male vocalist, along with music video of the year for “Troubadour,” directed by Trey Fanjoy. Strait and Womack won the CMA’s musical event honor in 2005 for their collaboration on “Good News, Bad News.”

Swift’s four nominations include her first for the coveted entertainer of the year prize. She is also nominated for female vocalist and music video of the year (the latter for “Love Story,” directed by Fanjoy.) Swift’s Fearless is nominated for album of the year.

Johnson, a new artist nominee, is also up for single and song of the year for “In Color” and album of the year for That Lonesome Song. He won a CMA song of the year award in 2007 for his work with co-writers Bill Anderson and Buddy Cannon on Strait’s hit, “Give It Away.”

Brown received his first CMA nominations Wednesday. The Zac Brown Band is included in the new artist and vocal group categories. The band’s hit single, “Chicken Fried,” is nominated for single of the year, and Brown garnered an extra nomination for co-writing the song with Wyatt Durrette.

This year’s CMA Awards will be broadcast live Nov. 11 from Nashville’s Sommet Center. Paisley and Carrie Underwood will return for a second year to host the ABC telecast.

Here’s a complete list of the nominees for the 2009 CMA Awards:

Entertainer of the Year
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Taylor Swift
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Reba McEntire
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Darius Rucker
George Strait
Keith Urban

New Artist
Randy Houser
Jamey Johnson
Jake Owen
Darius Rucker
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group
Eagles
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Joey & Rory
Montgomery Gentry
Sugarland

Single of the Year
(Award goes to artist and producer.)
“Chicken Fried”
Zac Brown Band
Producer: Keith Stegall
Atlantic Records

“I Run to You”
Lady Antebellum
Producers: Victoria Shaw and Paul Worley
Capitol Records Nashville

“In Color”
Jamey Johnson
Producers: The Kent Hardly Playboys
Mercury Nashville

“People Are Crazy”
Billy Currington
Producers: Carson Chamberlain and Billy Currington
Mercury Nashville

“Then”
Brad Paisley
Producers: Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois
Arista Nashville

Album of the Year
(Award goes to artist and producer.)
American Saturday Night
Brad Paisley
Producers: Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois
Arista Nashville

Defying Gravity
Keith Urban
Producers: Dann Huff and Keith Urban
Capitol Records Nashville

Fearless
Taylor Swift
Producers: Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift
Big Machine Records

Love on the Inside
Sugarland
Producers: Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
Mercury Nashville

That Lonesome Song
Jamey Johnson
Producers: The Kent Hardly Playboys
Mercury Nashville

Song of the Year
(Award goes to songwriters.)
“Chicken Fried”
Songwriters: Zac Brown and Wyatt Durette

“I Told You So”
Songwriter: Randy Travis

“In Color”
Songwriters: Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto

“People Are Crazy”
Songwriters: Bobby Braddock and Troy Jones

“Then”
Songwriters: Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley

Musical Event
(Award goes to each artist.)
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire
Arista Nashville

“Down the Road”
Kenny Chesney (with Mac McAnally)
Blue Chair Records, BNA Records

“Everything But Quits”
Lee Ann Womack (duet with George Strait)
MCA Records

“I Told You So”
Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis
19 Recordings/Arista

“Old Enough”
The Raconteurs featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe
Third Man Records, Warner Bros. Records

“Start a Band”
Brad Paisley (duet with Keith Urban)
Arista Nashville

Music Video
(Award goes to artist and director.)
“Boots On”
Randy Houser
Director: Eric Welch

“Love Story”
Taylor Swift
Director: Trey Fanjoy

“People Are Crazy”
Billy Currington
Directors: The Brads

“Start a Band”
Brad Paisley (duet with Keith Urban)
Directors: Jim Shea

“Troubadour”
George Strait
Director: Trey Fanjoy

Musician of the Year
Eddie Bayers — drums
Paul Franklin — steel guitar
Dann Huff — guitar
Brent Mason — guitar
Mac McAnally — 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.