FIRST ROUND OF PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED FOR “THE 43rd ANNUAL CMA AWARDS”

The star-packed lineup for “The 43rd Annual CMA Awards” launches with the announcement today that nominees Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban will perform. “The 43rd Annual CMA Awards” will be broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Reigning CMA Male and Female Vocalist of the Year Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return for a second year to host “County Music’s Biggest Night(tm).”

Brooks & Dunn are nominated this year for Vocal Duo and Musical Event with McEntire for “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.”

Chesney, the reigning Entertainer of the Year, has three nominations, including Entertainer; Male Vocalist; and Musical Event with Mac McAnally for “Down the Road.”

McEntire has two nominations, including Female Vocalist and Musical Event with Brooks & Dunn for “Cowgirls Don’t Cry.”

Paisley, the reigning Male Vocalist, is this year’s top-nominated artist with seven nominations, including Entertainer; Male Vocalist; Album for “American Saturday Night,” Single and Song for “Then,” and Musical Event and Music Video for “Start a Band” with Urban.

Rucker, who released his debut solo Country album in 2008, received his first two CMA nominations this year for New Artist and Male Vocalist.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Strait received four nominations, including Entertainer; Male Vocalist; Music Video for “Troubadour,” and Musical Event for “Everything But Quits” with Lee Ann Womack. With 79 career nominations, Strait is now tied with Alan Jackson as the most nominated artist in CMA Awards history.  

Sugarland, the reigning Vocal Duo, has two nominations including Vocal Duo and Album for “Love on the Inside.” Sugarland members Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles could each receive a second trophy for producing “Love on the Inside” with Byron Gallimore.

Swift, who won the Horizon Award in 2007, received four nominations this year with Entertainer; Female; Album for “Fearless,” and Music Video for “Love Story.” She could receive a second trophy for producing “Fearless” with Nathan Chapman. At age 19, Swift is the youngest artist ever to be nominated for Entertainer. Prior to this nomination, Wynonna was the youngest at age 22, when The Judds were first nominated in that category in 1986. Swift is also the first solo female artist to be nominated for Entertainer since 2000, when Faith Hill was nominated. The last solo female artist to win the category was Shania Twain in 1999.

Underwood, the reigning Female Vocalist for three consecutive years, has two nominations including Female Vocalist and Musical Event for “I Told You So” with Randy Travis. Should Underwood win the Female Vocalist category again this year, she would tie Martina McBride and McEntire as the top winners in the category with four wins each.

Urban received five nominations this year, with Entertainer; Male Vocalist; Album for “Defying Gravity,”  and Musical Event and Music Video for “Start a Band” with Paisley. Urban could receive a second trophy for producing “Defying Gravity” with Dann Huff.

“The 43rd Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the executive producer, Paul Miller is the director and David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

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