CMA Nominations Catch Country Artists by Surprise

Miranda Lambert Claims More Nominations Than Any Female Artist in a Single Year

Even if she doesn’t win a trophy in November, Miranda Lambert has already made history as the female with the most nominations in a single year at the CMA Awards.

When the final nominees were announced Wednesday (Sept. 1) on ABC’s Good Morning America, Lambert led the list with nine nominations, including her first for the CMA’s top award — entertainer of the year. Alan Jackson received 10 nominations in 2002. Merle Haggard set the previous record with nine nominations in 1970.

In previous years, Lambert received a total of seven nominations but has never been a CMA winner. Earlier this year, the West Coast-based Academy of Country Music honored her with awards for female vocalist, album of the year (for Revolution) and video of the year (for “White Liar” ). She’s nominated in those corresponding categories at the CMA Awards.

“I’m really shocked at some of my nominations, definitely,” Lambert said on GMA after the CMA’s finalists were confirmed. She later noted that 2010 has been an eventful year for her, adding, “I’m going to start putting ’10′ on everything. It’s my lucky number, I guess. I got engaged [to country singer Blake Shelton], had some great things happen at the ACMs. Now the CMA … nine nominations. I never would have even thought I was eligible for nine.”

Lady Antebellum received five CMA nominations, including entertainer of the year, vocal group and album, single and song of the year for “Need You Now.” Group members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott each received individual nominations for song of the year for writing “Need You Now” with songwriter Josh Kear.

Lady Antebellum learned of their latest nominations while boarding a plane for a Wednesday night concert at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.

“The year just keeps getting better and better,” Haywood said. “Charles, Hillary and I are so thankful for our families and also the family we’ve made in Nashville within the music industry who continue to support us on this crazy ride.”

Scott cited their fans and country radio for the success they’ve achieved.

“They’ve given us the most incredible life,” she said. “We definitely wouldn’t be here without them. Thanks for playing our songs and coming out to the shows … and just believing in us and our music.”

Keith Urban already has six CMA trophies, but he remained humbled by his latest nominations for male vocalist and entertainer of the year.

“I just found out about the noms,” he said. “Man, what can I say? Huge massive thank you to everyone who not only made these nominations possible but also brought a whole new level of passion to our shows this year. … From the fans to country radio to the Nashville community, I appreciate it more than you can possibly imagine.”

Steel Magnolia, who won the second season of CMT’s Can You Duet competition, received their first-ever CMA nomination. Commenting on their nomination in the vocal duo category, Meghan Linsey said, “I’ve watched my idols perform on the CMAs since I was a little girl. Walking alongside them on the red carpet is just like a dream. To see our names and pictures flashed up on the big screen with all the superstars truly was a dream come true.”

The Band Perry found itself in the vocal group category as their first CMA nomination. Kimberly Perry noted, “The three of us are huge country music fans and are honored to be in this category with some of our favorite artists. Big love and our deepest thanks to everyone for your rich support.”

Easton Corbin‘s first CMA nominations came for new artist and single of the year (for “A Little More Country Than That” ). Regarding the nominations, he said, “I was driving to a writing appointment today when I got the news. My phone was ringing off the hook from my management and label. and I thought ‘Oh, no! Is this good or bad? I didn’t know the nominations were coming out today so I was a little scared. But it all ended up better than I could’ve imagined.”

“A Little More Country Than That” also netted a song of the year nomination for songwriters Rory Feek, Don Pothyress and Wynn Varble. Feek and his wife Joey comprise the duo Joey & Rory, who received their second nomination in the vocal duo category. “It’s a thrill just to have our name on the same list as the other great duos in the category,” she said. “Personally, I’m especially excited my husband Rory’s song is nominated in two categories … for single and song of the year.¬†This nomination is truly a testament to not only what a great artist he is, but also what an incredible songwriter he is and has been all these years.”

The members of Little Big Town were already having a memorable week when their new album, The Reason Why, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s country albums chart. They’re also celebrating a vocal group of the year nomination.

“This will be a week we never forget,” group member Karen Fairchild said. “And we owe that to the incredible fans, country radio and our new label, Capitol Records. Musical partner Kimberly Schlapman added, “We are so blessed to have our album debut at the top of the charts. And to have news of this nomination in the same week is just amazing.”

The 44th annual CMA Awards will take place Nov. 10 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. For the third consecutive year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the live broadcast on ABC. Tickets go on sale to the public on Sept. 18 via Ticketmaster. Prices start at $110 for the upper levels.