The Country Music Association announced the nominations for their 52nd Annual CMA Awards on August 28. and Chris Stapleton leads with five bids, including Album of the Year (“A Room: Volume 2”), both Single and Song of the Year for “Broken Halos” and as Best Male Vocalist. He also reaped a nomination for the top prize from the CMAs, Entertainer of the Year. He has lost that race for the last two years running to Garth Brooks who was snubbed this year. (See the full list of 2018 CMA Awards nominations.)
The other contenders in that category are: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. Chesney has won four of his 10 bids (2004, 2006-2008); Bryan is two for five (2014, 2015); Urban prevailed on his first try in 2005 and has lost nine times since; and Aldean is a three-time also-ran.
No woman contends in that coveted category again this year. But that is not surprising when you consider only one woman has won this award this century: Taylor Swift (2009, 2011). And in that same time frame there has only been one year when more than one female artist was nominated: 2010, when Miranda Lambert and the gender-mixed group Lady Antebellum were both in the running.
Lambert did reap four bids this year: Female Vocalist of the Year, which she has won a record seven times, and three for her collaboration with Aldean on “Drowns the Whiskey.”
Besides Entertainer of the Year, Urban earned his 14th bid for Male Vocalist (he won three in a row beginning in 2004) and contends for his album “Graffiti U.”
Winners will be revealed at a live ceremony hosted for the 11 year in a row by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood on Wednesday, November 14 on ABC. While Paisley was shut out of the awards, Underwood is up for Female Vocalist, a category in which she has contended every year since 2006. She won her first three bids in a row and then again in 2016. She is also nominated for her video “Cry Pretty.”