At last year’s CMA Awards, Blake Shelton pulled off an upset in the top race — Entertainer of the Year — edging out defending champ Taylor Swift. She had also claimed this prize in 2009 and remains tied with Barbara Mandrell for most wins (2) by a female artist.
Swift is looking to break that record and beat Shelton this year in a rematch. The race also include two-time champ and veteran crooner George Strait (1989, 1990) as well as Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.
Swift contends in six categories this year, tying newcomer Kacey Musgrave for the most nominations. Besides Entertainer of the Year, she is up for Female Vocalist and Album (“Red“) and shares three nominations for “Highway Don’t Care” with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban: Single, Musical Event, and Music Video of the Year.
In just six years, she has racked up seven wins from 21 bids: New Artist of the Year in 2007; five in 2009 — Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist, Album (“Fearless”), Music Video (“Love Story”) and International Artist Acheivement — and Entertainer again in 2011.
The CMA Awards are decided by the 11,000 members of the Country Music Assn., which was established in 1958 and is the oldest trade organization created to promote an individual genre of music. The CMA is made up of industry professionals, which means winners are determined by the artists’ country music peers.
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