CMA’s Top Category Missing Many Familiar Nominees

Jeez. You take a little time off from mega-touring and this is what happens? Watching Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert on Good Morning America to announce some of the major CMA nominees, I was shocked when they got to the entertainer of the year category and didn’t say “Kenny Chesney.” And for that matter, I was just as shocked that Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood’s names weren’t in the EOY category either. As I understand it, the award recognizes achievements that took place during the qualifying period — July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010. Granted, Chesney sharply curtailed his touring this spring and summer, but he headlined at least six stadium shows during July, August and September of last year. And both Swift and Underwood have had two of this year’s biggest tours — with plenty of dates before the June 30 cutoff for the awards eligibility. Swift was last year’s EOY, and Chesney won the award four times before that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to death that Lambert, the Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Lady Antebellum are up for the CMA’s top award, but I am a little confused about some of the folks who didn’t make this year’s list.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.