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Church, Stapleton, Morris lead CMA nominatons

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 – Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris led the list of final nominees for the 50th Annual CMA Awards with five nominations each

Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban received four nominations and Tim McGraw received three nominations each.

"I am very excited about this year's list of nominees," said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "We have artists who received their first CMA Awards nominations decades ago alongside first-timers. We have critically-acclaimed songwriters and artists who have reset the bar for country music. This is going to be an exciting year in addition to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards."

Church's nominations include Male Vocalist; Album of the Year for "Mr. Misunderstood," which was produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora, Jr.; Single of the Year for "Record Year," produced by Joyce and mix engineered by Joyce and Jason Hall; Song of the Year for "Record Year," written by Church and Jeff Hyde; and Music Video of the Year for "Record Year," directed by Reid Long and John Peets. Church is a top nominee for the second year in a row, matching the five nominations he received in 2015.

Morris' five nominations ties her with Deana Carter (1997), K.T. Oslin (1988), and Gretchen Wilson (2004) for five nods in a debut year by a female artist. Only Kacey Musgraves has more, having received six nominations in 2013.

Morris received nominations for Female Vocalist; Album of the Year for "Hero," produced by busbee, Brad Hill and Morris; Single of the Year for "My Church," produced by busbee and Morris and mix engineered by busbee and Dave Clauss; Song of the Year for "My Church," penned by Morris and busbee; and New Artist of the Year. Morris only receives one nomination each for Album and Single of the Year, but can receive additional trophies as producer.

Stapleton had a big year in 2015 when he won four awards for Album (including producer), Male Vocalist, and New Artist of the Year, he is back in 2016 with five nominations, including his first for Entertainer of the Year.

He also was nominated for Male Vocalist; Single of the Year for "Nobody To Blame," produced by Stapleton and Dave Cobb and mix engineered by Vance Powell; Music Video of the Year for "Fire Away," directed by Tim Mattia; and Musical Event of the Year with wife Morgane Stapleton (her first nomination) for "You Are My Sunshine." Stapleton only receives one nomination for Single of the Year, but can receive an additional trophy as producer.

Nominees were:

Entertainer of the Year
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban

Album of the Year
"Hero," Maren Morris
"Mr. Misunderstood," Eric Church
Storyteller," Carrie Underwood
"Black," Dierks Bentley
"Ripcord," Keith Urban

Single of the Year
"Die a Happy Man," Thomas Rhett
"Humble and Kind," Tim McGraw
"My Church," Maren Morris
"Nobody to Blame," Chris Stapleton
"Record Year," Eric Church

Song of the Year
"Die a Happy Man," Thomas Rhett
"Humble and Kind," Tim McGraw
"My Church," Maren Morris
"Record Year," Eric Church
"Burning House," Cam

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year
Eric Church
Tim McGraw
Chris Stapleton
Dierks Bentley
Keith Urban

Musical Event of the Year
"Different for Girls," Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King
"Home Alone Tonight," Luke Bryan feat. Karen Fairchild
"The Fighter," Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood
"Think of You," Chris Young with Cassadee Pope
"You Are My Sunshine," Morgane Stapleton with Chris Stapleton

Music Video of the Year
"Fire Away," Chris Stapleton
"Humble and Kind," Tim McGraw
"Record Year," Eric Church
"Somewhere on a Beach," Dierks Bentley
"Burning House," Cam

Vocal Group of the Year nominees were Old Dominion plus several returning winners including Lady Antebellum, who have won three times (2009-2011); Little Big Town, who have won four times (2012-2015); Rascal Flatts, who have won six times (2003-2008); and Zac Brown Band, who have been nominated every year since 2009.

Brothers Osborne, Dan + Shay, Joey + Rory, Maddie & Tae and Florida Georgia Line were nominated for the Vocal Duo of the Year category.

New Artist of the Year nominees were Brothers Osborne, Morris, Old Dominion, Ballerini and Cole Swindell, who was a New Artist nominee in 2014. Artists can only be included in this category twice.

The Musician of the Year category includes Jerry Douglas(Dobro/lap steel guitar), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Huff (guitar), Brent Mason (guitar), and first-time nominee Derek Wells (guitar).

Winners will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Oct. 10 with balloting ending Oct. 25.

Brad Paisley and Underwood will host the awards, which will be broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 2 on ABC.

More news for Eric Church

CD reviews for Eric Church

Mr. Misunderstood CD review - Mr. Misunderstood
When listeners were introduced to Eric Church on his debut, they heard an artist who could balance strong song writing with a bit of a rebellious edge to the music. The surprise release of his latest continues that tradition, being quietly released to his fan club before even being officially announced. The music, written and recorded over a short period of time with an unheard of fast turnaround, has a raw edge that bridges the gap between radio friendly country music with the more rugged sound »»»
The Outsiders CD review - The Outsiders
Eric Church looks to take no prisoners on his big and bold - sometimes very dark - sounding fourth studio release. He makes that crystal clear on the cover where he stands flanked by his backing quintet, looking tough, menacing, ready for a rumble with arms hanging down, hiding behind sunglasses. These guys are ready to roll. As in rock and roll, which Church et al cook up with the lead-off title track, an out-and-out rocker with Church laying down his outside the lines credentials. »»»
Caught in the Act: Live CD review - Caught in the Act: Live
"God send a country music Jesus to save us all," sings Eric Church on this new collection of live recordings, but he's not talking about himself. Church may be a country music hit maker but he's not exactly traditional-sounding; there are times here where the band is rocking hard enough that it's closer to AC/DC than anything remotely 'country.' Church's big hit Springsteen is here, of course, closing the album and including a cleverly placed snippet of an »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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