Leading off the first round of performers for the April 3 airing of the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS are all six of the contenders for the top prize of Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.
For the third year in a row, the winner will be chosen by online balloting. Voting will commence March 11 and close during the third hour of the live kudocast. Reigning two-time champ Carrie Underwood was snubbed in this race and has just one nomination for Top Female Vocalist.
Miranda Lambert leads with seven bids, including Top Female Vocalist and, for the first time, Entertainer of the Year. In addition, she is nominated for Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “The House That Built Me,” and has two tries for Video of the Year for “Only Prettier” and “The House That Built Me.” She also contends for Vocal Event of the Year with Sheryl Crow and Loretta Lynn for “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Lambert is the reigning ACM Top Female Vocalist.
Taylor Swift is nominated for four awards, including her second consecutive bid for Entertainer of the Year. Swift is nominated as an artist and producer for Album of the Year for “Speak Now” and also received a nomination for Top Female Vocalist. In 2009, Swift made history as the Academy’s youngest-ever winner for Album of the Year when she was honored as both an artist and producer for “Fearless.”
Keith Urban is nominated for three awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. Urban is also nominated for Vocal Event of the Year for “Blue Sky” with Emily West. Urban is a seven-time ACM award winner, including wins for Top Male Vocalist in 2004 and 2005, Album of the Year in 2004 and Top New Male Vocalist in 2000.
Jason Aldean is nominated for two awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. This is Aldean’s first nomination for Entertainer of the Year. Aldean won Top New Male Vocalist in 2005.
Brad Paisley is nominated for two awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. If Paisley wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his first win in this category. Paisley has won 13 ACM Awards, including four for Top Male Vocalist.
Toby Keith is nominated for Entertainer of the Year. He previously won the category twice – first in 2002 and then again the following year. Keith has also won 10 ACM Awards, including two for Top Male Vocalist and Album of the Year.