Another day of country music awards nominations. Today was the turn of the Academy of Country Music following the Country Music Association, which held its awards in the fall, and the American Country Awards, which were in December.
Instead of the glitz and glamour of early morning TV to announce the awards, the ACMs took to social media to lay it out there for the public. The awards themselves will be handed out live in April.
Kenny Chesney had a huge day with nine nominations. Of course, it helped that he also produced "Hemingway's Whiskey," because that enabled him to double dip so to speak because the producer received a nomination in several areas.
What's becoming increasingly clear is that Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton are at the top of their games when it comes to these awards shows. You can find Chesney and Brad Paisley there sometimes, but the past year has seen the careers of Aldean and Shelton skyrocket. Both were nominated for Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year as was Paisley.
I have no real complaints with the entertainer nominations. Everyone on the list for Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year, particularly Taylor Swift in the former category, deserved to be there. One could argue that Toby Keith should have received a nod and he may well have over Chris Young, but Young also saw his career kick into much higher bear with some big hits. (don't worry too much about Keith. He doesn't much care for these awards shows. He did get nominated, at least, for Single Record of the Year for Red Solo Cup, which is far from the best song on "Clancy's Tavern.") Billy Currington also could have been nominated as he's been on a quiet roll for a while with a bunch of hits.
Lady A cud easily have received an Entertainer of the Year nomination as well. Maybe next year.
On the female side, it's no surprise that Swift, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood were nominated. They are the big three and were joined by veterans Sara Evans and Martina McBride. Both seemingly have little chance of taking home the prize. Swift and Lambert both had great years with two fine releases from Lambert ("Four the Record" and Pistol Annies, her side project).
The Vocal Group Award has five acts, who enjoyed excellent years - The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and Zac Brown Band. All had big years with hits and career growth. It seems a lot of times, it's hard to find five legit choices for an award, but not here.
The same was not true in the Vocal Duo award. Once again, how the heck does Love And Theft get nominated when they don't even have a full album out, nor a hit of any sort? Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia, Sugarland and Thompson Square did get nominated. Looks like Sugarland ought to write up their thank you speech any minute now. That's not a knock at Montgomery Gentry, which demonstrated there's life after a major label, or Thompson Square, who had a very fine year. But it'd be shocking if either won out over Sugarland.
The Album of the Year award is going to be tight also with Eric Church's "Chief," Lambert, Chesney, Aldean's "My Kinda Party" and Lady A's "Own the Night." Again, one can't complain about the nominees, although Church's has to be considered a big surprise. He also could have been nominated in other areas.
Of course, the artists are thrilled to be nominated, and it helps sales. Just remember, these awards shows are the be all and end of all when it comes to the music. But congratulations to all who were nominated.