Kenny Chesney is CMAs' leading man

Tops nominations with 7; George Strait, Sugarland nab 5

NASHVILLE -- Kenny Chesney leads the field with seven nominations for the 42nd annual Country Music Assn. Awards.

George Strait and duo Sugarland each nabbed five nominations, with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles picking up a sixth for song of the year. Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson scored four noms each.

Chesney, the reigning entertainer of the year, was nominated in that category again. He also collected male vocalist, album, single, video and two musical event nominations ("Every Other Weekend" with Reba McEntire and "Shiftwork" with Strait).

Nettles earned a songwriter nomination for the Sugarland's hit "Stay," and the twosome also picked up noms for entertainer, single, vocal duo, video and musical event ("Life in a Northern Town" with Little Big Town and Jake Owen).

In addition to the musical event nom with Chesney, Strait is up for entertainer, male vocalist, album and single. Strait now has 75 career CMA nominations, trailing only Jackson, who now has 79 with this year's nominations for male vocalist, album, song and video.

Paisley is up for entertainer, male, song and video. Keith Urban, also nominated as male vocalist, rounds out the list of entertainer nominees.

The tide is turning toward newer artists in the female vocalist category, where Alison Krauss (also nominated for musical event with Robert Plant), Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood join perennial Martina McBride.

The Eagles picked up their first vocal group nomination in more than 30 years -- they were nominated in 1976 and 1977 -- and are joined in the category by newcomers Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town and Emerson Drive.

James Otto, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins and Kellie Pickler round out the new artist category, which was previously known as the Horizon Award.

ABC will broadcast the CMA Awards on Nov. 12 from the Sommet Center in Nashville.

Ken Tucker is a correspondent for Billboard.

The complete list of nominees follows:

Entertainer of the year
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Sugarland
Keith Urban

Female vocalist of the year
Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Male vocalist of the year
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban

New artist of the year
Jason Aldean
Rodney Atkins
Lady Antebellum
James Otto
Kellie Pickler

Vocal group of the year
Eagles
Emerson Drive
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts

Vocal duo of the year
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Sugarland
The Wreckers

Single of the year
(Award goes to artist and producer)
"Don't Blink," Kenny Chesney
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records

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

"I Saw God Today," George Strait
Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait
MCA Nashville

"Stay," Sugarland
Produced by Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles
Mercury Nashville

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

Album of the year
(Award goes to artist and producer)
"Carnival Ride," Carrie Underwood
Produced by Mark Bright
19 Recordings Limited/Arista/Arista Nashville

"Cowboy Town," Brooks & Dunn
Produced by Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks
Arista Nashville

"Good Time," Alan Jackson
Produced by Keith Stegall
Arista Nashville

"Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates," Kenny Chesney
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
BNA Records

"Troubadour," George Strait
Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait
MCA Nashville

Song of the year
(Award goes to songwriter and primary publisher)
"Good Time"
Alan Jackson
EMI-April Music/Tri-Angels Music

"I Saw God Today"
Rodney Clawson/Monty Criswell/Wade Kirby
Big Red Toe/Extremely Loud Music/Steel Wheels Music/Blind Mule Music

"Letter to Me"
Brad Paisley
EMI-April Music/New Sea Gayle Music

"Stay"
Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles Publishing

"You're Gonna Miss This"
Lee Thomas Miller/Ashley Gorley
EMI Blackwood Music/New Songs of Sea Gayle/Noah's Little Boat Music/Songs of Combustion Music

Musical event of the year
(Award to each artist)
Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood, "Another Try"
MCA Nashville

Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney, "Every Other Weekend"
MCA Nashville

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, "Gone, Gone, Gone"
Rounder Records

Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen, "Life in a Northern Town"
Mercury Nashville

Kenny Chesney (duet with George Strait), "Shiftwork"
BNA Records

Music video of the year
(Award goes to artist and director)
"Don't Blink," Kenny Chesney
Directed by Shaun Silva

"Good Time," Alan Jackson
Directed by Trey Fanjoy

"Stay," Sugarland
Directed by Shaun Silva

"Waitin' on a Woman," Brad Paisley
Directed by Jim Shea

"You're Gonna Miss This," Trace Adkins
Directed by Peter Zavadil

Musician of the year
Jerry Douglas, dobro
Paul Franklin, steel guitar
Dann Huff, guitar
Brent Mason, guitar
Mac McAnally, guitar
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