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[02/11/09 - 05:46 AM]
Nominations Announced for the "44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards," to Be Broadcast Live from Las Vegas Sunday, April 5 on the CBS Television Network
Brad Paisley leads with six nominations while Heidi Newfield follows with five.

[via press release from CBS]

NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR THE "44TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS," TO BE BROADCAST LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS SUNDAY, APRIL 5 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Brad Paisley Leads with Six Nominations; Heidi Newfield Follows with Five; Kenny Chesney, Jamey Johnson and George Strait Each Receive Four Nominations; Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood Each Receive Three; and Trace Adkins, Brooks & Dunn, Little Big Town, James Otto, Jake Owen, Taylor Swift and Sugarland Each Receive Two Nominations Fans Will Vote Again for Entertainer of the Year; Top New Artist Category to be Voted on by Fans for First Time Ever

Nominations for the 44TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, a star-studded event produced for television by dick clark productions, were announced today at a press conference held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Country superstars Juliana Hough, Kellie Pickler, LeAnn Rimes and Jessica Simpson read the nominations live during CBS's "The Early Show" broadcast. The winners will be broadcast live from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena Sunday, April 5 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Brad Paisley led with six nominations, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. In addition, Paisley was nominated for Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year for "Waitin' on a Woman," and Vocal Event of the Year for "Start a Band" with Keith Urban. Paisley is the reigning Top Male Vocalist.

Heidi Newfield is nominated for five awards, including Top Female Vocalist. She is also nominated for Single Record of the Year and as an artist and composer for Song of the Year for "Johnny & June," for which she is also nominated for Video of the Year.

Kenny Chesney is nominated for four awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and as an artist and producer for Vocal Event of the Year for "Down the Road" with Mac McAnally. If Chesney wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his fifth consecutive win, which will tie Alabama for the most consecutive wins in this category.

Jamey Johnson received four nominations, including Top New Male Vocalist, Single Record of the Year and as an artist and composer for Song of the Year for "In Color." This is the first time Johnson has been nominated as an artist. He previously won an Academy of Country Music Award in 2006 for Song of the Year for "Give It Away," which was recorded by George Strait.

George Strait received four nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and Song of the Year for "I Saw God Today." He is also nominated for Video of the Year for "Troubadour." If Strait wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his second win in that category, previously winning the award in 1989. Strait has also been named the Academy of Country Music's Artist of the Decade and will be honored in a television special to air later in the year on CBS.

Carrie Underwood is nominated for three awards, including Entertainer of Year. If Underwood wins Entertainer of the Year, she will be only the seventh female to take the award; previous winners include Loretta Lynn in 1975, Reba McEntire in 1994 and most recently, Dixie Chicks in 2000. Underwood is also nominated for Top Female Vocalist, and her video, "Just a Dream," is nominated for Video of the Year. If she wins Top Female Vocalist, it will be the third consecutive year she has won the category.

Keith Urban received three nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and Vocal Event of the Year for his duet with Brad Paisley for "Start a Band." Urban is a five-time ACM award winner, including Top Male Vocalist in 2004 and 2005, Album of the Year in 2004 and Top New Male Artist in 2000. If he wins Entertainer of the Year, he will be eligible for the Triple Crown Award, the Academy's recognition of those who have taken Top New Artist, Top Artist and Entertainer of the Year awards.

Trace Adkins, Brooks & Dunn, Little Big Town, James Otto, Jake Owen, Taylor Swift and Sugarland are each nominated for two awards. Adkins is nominated for Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "You're Gonna Miss This." Brooks & Dunn are nominated for Top Vocal Duo and Vocal Event of the Year. If they win Top Vocal Duo, it will be their 16th straight win in the category. Little Big Town received two nominations for Top Vocal Group and Vocal Event of the Year. James Otto-a first-time nominee-is nominated for Top New Male Vocalist and as a producer for Song of the Year for "In Color." Jake Owen is nominated for Top New Male Vocalist and Vocal Event of the Year, and was previously nominated for Top New Male Vocalist in 2007. Swift is nominated in two categories including Top Female Vocalist, and her video "Love Story" is nominated for Video of the Year. She won Top New Female Vocalist last year. Sugarland is nominated for Top Vocal Duo and Vocal Event of the Year. Last year they won Single Record of the Year for "Stay."

For the first time ever, the three newcomer categories for the Annual Academy of Country Music Awards -Top New Female Vocalist, Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Vocal Duo or Group - will be opened up to interactive fan voting on GACTV.com, beginning Friday, Feb. 13. The winners will then move on to compete in a new category, Top New Artist, and for the second year fans will also select the winner of the Academy's most prestigious honor, Entertainer of the Year. Online voting will be available at http://www.voteacm.com/, and this year fans will also be able to text their votes for Entertainer of the Year during the broadcast. The winners of each category will be announced live during the 44TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS.

Members of the Academy of Country Music select the nominees and winners of the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, and select the final top five nominees of the Entertainer of the Year category and the top three nominees in newcomer categories, Top New Female Vocalist, Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Vocal Duo or Group. Presenters and performers who will appear at the ceremony will be announced at a later date. As previously announced, Reba McEntire will return for an unprecedented 11th time to host this year's show.

Following is the list of final nominees. Nominees for Album of the Year will be announced in March. Winners in each of the following categories, except where noted, will be presented with an Academy of Country Music Award during the television broadcast:

Entertainer of the Year

�� Kenny Chesney

�� Brad Paisley

�� George Strait

�� Keith Urban

�� Carrie Underwood

Top Male Vocalist

�� Kenny Chesney

�� Toby Keith

�� Brad Paisley

�� George Strait

�� Keith Urban

Top Female Vocalist

�� Miranda Lambert

�� Heidi Newfield

�� Taylor Swift

�� Carrie Underwood

�� Lee Ann Womack

Top Vocal Group

�� Lady Antebellum

�� Little Big Town

�� Rascal Flatts

�� Randy Rogers Band

�� The Lost Trailers

Top Vocal Duo

�� Big & Rich

�� Brooks & Dunn

�� Joey & Rory

�� Montgomery Gentry

�� Sugarland

Top New Male Vocalist**

�� Jamey Johnson

�� James Otto

�� Jake Owen

Top New Female Vocalist**

�� Sarah Buxton

�� Julianne Hough

�� Ashton Shepherd

Top New Vocal Duo or Group**

�� Eli Young Band

�� The Lost Trailers

�� Zac Brown Band

Single Record of the Year [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

�� Gunpowder & Lead Miranda Lambert, Produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke Columbia

�� In Color Jamey Johnson, Produced by The Ken Hardley Playboys Mercury

�� Johnny & June Heidi Newfield, Produced by Tony Brown Asylum-Curb

�� Waitin' On A Woman Brad Paisley, Produced by Frank Rogers Arista Nashville

�� You're Gonna Miss This Trace Adkins, Produced by Frank Rogers Capitol Nashville

Song of the Year [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

�� I Saw God Today George Strait Composers: Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby Publishers: Big Red Toe Music (BMI), Blind Mule Music (BMI), Extremely Loud Music (BMI), Steel Wheels Music (BMI)

�� In Color Jamey Johnson Composers: Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto Publishers: Big Gassed Hitties (BMI), Eldorotto Music Publishing (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc., Lucky Thumb Music (BMI), New Song of Sea Gayle (BMI), Noah's Little Boat Music (BMI)

�� Johnny & June Heidi Newfield Composers: Deanna Bryant, Heidi Newfield, Stephony Smith Publishers: Amylase Music (ASCAP), Big Hit Makers Music (BMI), Rainy Graham Publishing LLC (BMI), Souljet Music Tell Texas Tune III (ASCAP)

�� Waitin' On A Woman Brad Paisley Composers: Don Sampson, Wynn Varble Publishers: EMI April Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Sea Gayle Music LLC (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)

�� You're Gonna Miss This Trace Adkins Composers: Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Music of Windswept (ASCAP), Noah's Little Boat Music (BMI), Song of Combustion (ASCAP), Songs of Sea Gayle (BMI)

Video of the Year [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

�� Johnny & June - Heidi Newfield Producer: Karen Martin Director: Eric Welch

�� Just A Dream - Carrie Underwood Producer: Randy Brewer Director: Roman White

�� Love Story - Taylor Swift Producer: Trent Hardville Director: Trey Fanjoy

�� Troubadour - George Strait Producer: Dominic Cancilla Director: Trey Fanjoy

�� Waitin' On A Woman - Brad Paisley Producer: Mark Kalbfeld, Jim Shea Director: Jim Shea, Peter Tilden

Vocal Event of the Year [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

�� Another Try - Josh Turner Featuring Trisha Yearwood Produced by: Frank Rogers MCA Nashville

�� Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn Featuring Reba McEntire Produced by: Kix Brooks, Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn, Arista Nashville

�� Down The Road - Kenny Chesney With Mac McAnally Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney Blue Chair/BNA

�� Life In A Northern Town - Sugarland Featuring Little Big Town & Jake Owen Mercury

�� Start A Band - Brad Paisley Duet With Keith Urban Produced by: Frank Rogers Arista Nashville

**Fan voting for Top New Male Vocalist, Top New Female Vocalist and Top New Vocal Duo or Group will begin at GACTV.com on Friday, Feb. 13, and will close on Thursday, March 5. The winner in each of the three categories will be announced March 9, and will move on to compete in a brand new Academy of Country Music Awards category, Top New Artist.

The 44TH Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions. Orly Adelson and R.A. Clark are the executive producers; Barry Adelman the producer and Bob Bardo the executive in charge of production.

RATING: To Be Announced





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