Chesney's 11 nominations leaves ACM field in his dust

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Kenny Chesney roped a leading 11 nominations for the 43rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, including entertainer of the year and top male vocalist.

Chesney also was nominated Tuesday as an artist and producer for album of the year, for "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates," and for single, song and top video of the year for "Don't Blink." If Chesney wins the entertainer prize —which for the first time will be a fan-voted honor — it will be his fourth consecutive win in the category, tying Garth Brooks' record.

Meanwhile, rising star Rodney Atkins is nominated for six awards, including top male vocalist, song and album. He won top new male vocalist at last year's show. Reigning top male vocalist Brad Paisley is nominated in four categories, including entertainer, male vocalist, album and video.

Big & Rich received four nominations, including top vocal duo and single, song and video of the year. John Rich is nominated for a producer and writer award and Big Kenny Alphin is nominated for two producing awards.

Sugarland also was nominated for four awards, including duo, song single and video of the year. The duo's Jennifer Nettles received two nominations for writing and producing, and Kristian Bush received one for producing.

Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift nabbed three nominations each, leading all female nominees. Both are up for album of the year.

Some artists not traditionally associated with the genre were represented among the nominees. Bon Jovi picked up its second ACM nomination, this time in the vocal event category for a duet with LeAnn Rimes for "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore," and Sheryl Crow scored a vocal event nomination for the second year in a row, this time for "What You Give Away" with Vince Gill.

The Eagles grabbed their second top vocal group nomination; the first came in 1975. Kelly Clarkson picked up her first nomination, for vocal event, with Reba McEntire, who will host the show for the 10th time.

Nominees in the technical or off-camera categories will be announced later this month.

The awards will be handed out May 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and air on CBS.

A complete list of nominees can be found at THR.com.

Ken Tucker is a correspondent for Billboard.
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