2012 CMA Nominations

The list of nominees for the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards has been released.  Eric Church had a big breakthrough this past year, and such is reflected in the nominee list – Church leads the pack with five nominations.  Power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert follow with four each, including a shared Song of the Year nod for their co-write “Over You.”

What’s your take on this year’s field of CMA nominees? Whose nominations were deserved, and whose were not? Who got snubbed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

The live presentation airs Thursday, November 1 at 8pm Eastern on ABC-TV.  The Country Universe Staff Picks & Predictions will be released the week of the show.  Feel free to join us on show night for some live-blogging fun!

Entertainer of the Year 

  • Jason Aldean
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton
  • Taylor Swift

Who’s in:  Kenny Chesney
Who’s out:  Keith Urban

No real surprises here.  This year we swapped out Urban for Chesney, but all of these nominees have been here at least once before.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Who’s in:  Kelly Clarkson
Who’s out:  Sara Evans

Well, I was hoping for some new blood in this category, and that’s definitely what I got.  Pop crossover star Kelly Clarkson scores her first nomination in the Female Vocalist field, displacing Sara Evans.  There will likely be some amount of upset over Clarkson receiving such an accolade, as she had one #21-peaking country hit in the past year with “Mr. Know It All,” but has yet to release a full-length country album.  And…that makes her one of the top five leading female vocalists in the country format?  Okay…

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Luke Bryan
  • Eric Church
  • Blake Shelton
  • Keith Urban

Who’s in:  Luke Bryan, Eric Church
Who’s out:  Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley

Bryan and Church’s recent career strides are rewarded

with their first nominations in the always-competitive Male Vocalist race.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • The Band Perry
  • Eli Young Band
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Zac Brown Band

Who’s in:  Eli Young Band
Who’s out:  Rascal Flatts (!!!)

Eli Young Band scores a pair of huge radio hits, and thus squeezes out a former staple of the Vocal Group race.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Big & Rich
  • Love and Theft
  • Sugarland
  • The Civil Wars
  • Thompson Square

Who’s in:  Big & Rich, Love and Theft
Who’s out:  Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia

New Artist of the Year

  • Lee Brice
  • Brantley Gilbert
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Love and Theft
  • Thompson Square

Who’s in:  Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Love and Theft
Who’s out:  The Band Perry (won), Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Chris Young (So, everyone except Thompson Square)

Album of the Year (Awarded to artist and producer)

  • Luke Bryan, Tailgates and Tanlines
    Produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright
  • Eric Church, Chief
    Produced by Jay Joyce
  • Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
    Produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf
  • Dierks Bentley, Home
    Produced by Brett Beavers, Luke Wooten, and Jon Randall Stewart
  • Lady Antebellum, Own the Night
    Produced by Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year (Awarded to songwriters)

  • Eli Young Band, “Even if It Breaks Your Heart”
    Written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay
  • Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You”
    Written by Dave Barnes
  • Dierks Bentley, “Home”
    Written by Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
    Written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
    Written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell

Single of the Year (Awarded to artist and producer)

  • Jason Aldean, “Dirt Road Anthem”
    Produced by Michael Knox
  • Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You”
    Produced by Scott Hendricks
  • Dierks Bentley, “Home”
    Produced by Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
    Produced by Jay Joyce
  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
    Produced by Jay Joyce

Musical Event of the Year

  • Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band, “Dixie Highway”
  •  Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, “Feel Like a Rock Star”
  •  Willie Nelson featuring Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”
  •  Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars, “Safe and Sound”
  •  Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker, “Stuck on You”

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to artist and director)

  • Eric Church, “Springsteen”
    Directed by Peter Zavadil
  • Kenny Chesney, “Come Over”
    Directed by Shaun Silva
  • Miranda Lambert, “Over You”
    Directed by Trey Fanjoy
  • Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
    Directed by Declan Whitebloom
  • Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup”
    Directed by Michael Salomon

Musician of the Year

Sam Bush
Paul Franklin
Dann Huff
Brent Mason
Mac McAnally


  1. First, Aaron Neville in the Grammys and now Kelly Clarkson. But that seems fair, because country music is inflicting Taylor Swift on pop. So turnabout’s fair play. Anyway, maybe this is all just country music’s way of saying thank you to Kelly for shtupping Reba’s stepson.

  2. Are you kidding me!!!!! “Over You” and “God Gave Me You” for Song of the Year nominees? Then, assuming they qualify for but year, you pass over “Cost of Livin'”, Postcards From Paris”, “Drinkin’ Man” and “When I’m Gone”? If that’s not a funny joke then I don’t know what is.

  3. The Kelly Clarkson nomination is a joke in my opinion. There are so many amazing women in this genre who are committed to making country music, to call a pop singer one of the top 5 female country artists feels like a slap in the face.

  4. I agree with OH’s comment. The only strong category IMHO is vocal group of the year. I’m sure I’ll be recording the show so I can skip the commercials and artists I don’t care for.

  5. How did “Own The Night” get a nomination for Album of the Year? It’s not even a good album! How can we expect Lady A to make good music if the industry keeps rewarding them for mediocre material? Was “Blown Away” not eligible?

  6. To be honest, seeing Kelly Clarkson’s name in the FVOTY category really didn’t cause my jaw to drop. Sadly, with so few females getting radio airplay, her (almost) Top 20 hit is enough to open that door.

    For some reason Own the Night’s nomination for Album of the Year was most offensive to me. When will the Lady A lovefest end? The good will from “Need You Now” should have ended by now. I’m hoping to see ZBB finally win in the Vocal Group category.

    I find Brad Paisley’s EOTY nomination to be somewhat undeserved this year.

    And finally, like almost every other year, I wonder when they will eliminate the Vocal Duo category.

  7. If Kelly puts out a country version of Stronger it will be a hit for sure. I think she is more country than Taylor Swift by a country mile.

  8. I like the Kelly Clarkson nomination and definitely hope she gets a performance slot on the show. I’d like to see country court more female pop stars to do remixes that country radio can play. The pop females are making more interesting music anyway right now, so I think this could be a good trend.

  9. Kelly’s nom? Utter joke.

    Carrie’s snub from Album of the Year? Utter joke.

    Montgomery Gentry’s snub from Duo? Utter joke, ESPECIALLY since Sugarland didn’t release ANYTHING.

  10. Seems I read an article on this site advising Carrie Underwood to make room for more awards—well, it seems the power of the Reba and Narval gang read it too and did the same thing they have been doing for the last few years and nominating their (some undeserving artists). They even managed to get Kelly a nomination—what a joke. Maybe Lady GaGa should be in that group as she remixed a song to country—what about Lionel Richie? He had one of the most successful COUNTRY albums—shouldn’t he have gotten some noms too? The ACM’s REALLY NEED TO STOP THIS as it is not fair to more deserving artists. They use Brad and Carrie for ratings (along with the network) and then treat them like dirt. I am going to pass on watching it until the crooked politics are stopped. Underwood should have been nominated over Lambert on songs, etc. as she had the biggest hits, sales, etc..—and she is way above Lambert in the vocal department. It smells to high heaven.

  11. I want to add that I think Brad and Carrie will do a remarkable job of co hosting as usual. Carrie will never show that she is hurt by all the dirty things going on and shutting her out and will co host with the grace, dignity and class that defines her.

  12. Besides the fact that Blown Away isn’t nominated for Album of the Year I just noticed that Cris Young isn’t even nominated one time… I don’t get it!

  13. Can someone please explain to me why we wouldn’t want Kelly Clarkson to become apart of the country genre? And before you say she hasn’t recorded any “country” material, can you please tell me of that group of females who really has in the past year?

  14. Heather,

    I don’t think the people who decide who is to host the show are necessarily the same people who vote on the winners.


    I have no problem with Kelly Clarkson becoming a part of the country genre. The problem with her nomination is that she hasn’t earned it (at least not yet). The other ladies in the field may not always sound much more country than Clarkson, but they all have a strong presence in the country market that Clarkson is still long way from establishing.

    I might not have as much of a problem with a Kelly Clarkson CMA nomination if she were more active in the country field, and released more country material (including a full-length album), but at this point it’s way too early to be giving her such an accolade as a Female Vocalist of the Year nod.

  15. Surprised to see Keith Urban get a nomination in MVOTY over the likes of Chris Young and Dierks Bentley, who both seem to deserve it more based on the eligibilty period (Urban’s only song was For You?)

    Dirt Road Anthem seems like it was released ages ago (is it still in the eligibility period?), as does God Gave Me You.

  16. Ben,

    I’m a little confused as to what someone has to do to earn this nomination. They don’t have to be that gifted of a vocalist since Taylor is in this category. Martina McBride has only had the hit with “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” back in late 2011. I just don’t see why it’s that big of a deal? Kelly has established a country following with her two previous hits on the chart with Reba and Jason Aldean, so it’s not like she is just a pop artists. To me it was slim pickins this year and I would have rather had Kelly nominated for the first time then have em’ just slap Sara Evans on the list again cause at least this makes the list fresh and interesting which is what country music needs more now than ever.

  17. I get the “logic” of these nominations, I think, though it’s still a deeply meh set.

    Chris Young should be in Male Vocalist over Urban, but Church and Bryan were the two whose numbers/impact most demanded they break in. I’m glad that they, at least, were able to.

    The Kelly Clarkson nom is definitely premature, but I can see how Sara Evans has slipped from consciousness. The only other mainstream option is Jana Kramer, and she may have seemed too new. It’s just a shame that the CMAs won’t seek artists outside the mainstream to round out these categories, or that such artists’ labels won’t jockey for the CMA’s attention (like the Civil Wars’ label presumably does).

    I think there’s an argument to be made for “God Gave Me You” for Song (not so much Single), though I personally don’t like the second verse. It seems like the CMA tends to be really attracted to songs written (or at least co-written) by standalone artists, and it’s funny to see that extend to Will Hoge and Dave Barnes. In that regard, you can get why the nomination for Lambert and Shelton on “Over You” probably seemed extra sexy to them…but of course, bleh.

    Album doesn’t surprise me too much, though the Dierks nom seems random – and given the focus on mainstream stuff, I actually think Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee deserved a slot. It’s more interesting than Lady A, and has certainly sold plenty (almost a million). I would’ve been OK with an Underwood nom, too, and most importantly – wouldn’t this have been a perfect place to acknowledge Pistol Annies?

    Finally: big Little Big Town fan, but what a depressing world where “Boondocks” and “Little White Church” happened and “Pontoon” is their biggest hit and awards magnet.

  18. After reading through the list, the first thing to cross my mind was, “It could be worse…”

    I’ll be able to sleep at night, anyway.

  19. This is, overall, a pretty bland group of nominations, although (and it really pains me to say this) I can get behind Eric Church’s noms for “Chief” and “Springsteen.” He was the most innovative artist this year who kept his music vaguely resembling country. It’s sad to see substance losing out in the song category — there was a time a song like “Drinking Man” or “Cost of Living” would have been rewarded. (And, BTW, where’s Ronnie Dunn in the male artist category?? That was a heck of a solo debut he made).

    Sadly, what has been the best album of the year so far has garnered not even a blip on the radar for the album or artist — “100 Proof” by Kellie Pickler.

    This is really a sad state of affairs.

  20. “Pontoon” has grown on me dramatically, I must say. It’s definitely not their ‘best’ song, but if it gives them enough hitmaking cred for them to start having more consistent radio success, I’ll be happy.

    And yes, shame about Pistol Annies not getting any voter love.

    I suppose, above all else, the Clarkson nod is a sure sign that the industry needs to start recognizing more solo females so that the Female Vocalist race can become competitive once more. It sure is frustrating that seemingly no more than three or four female artists can enjoy mainstream success at the same time these days.

  21. Sigh. More rewarding of mediocrity, but to be fair the genre seems to be overrun with it these days. If I were upset about any of these nominations, though, it’d be the ones for Album of the Year. No Pistol Annies or George Strait, even though Hell on Heels and Here For A Good Time were arguably two of the best mainstream country albums of the new millennium? Back to classic country and heavy metal for me.

  22. I don’t understand the shower of love for “God Gave Me You” and “Over You”. Are these songs really the best that they can nominate for Single and/or Song? There’s a scarcity of really good songs right now I guess lol.

  23. Song of the Year should have looked something like this…
    -Threaten Me With Heaven (Vince Gill), Written by Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Dillon O’Brian, Will Owsley

    -Drinkin’ Man (George Strait), Written by Dean Dillion, Bubba Strait, George Strait

    -Cost of Livin’ (Ronnie Dunn), Written by Ronnie Dunn & Phillip Coleman

    -Amen (Eden’s Edge), Written by Skip Black, Hannah Blaylock, Catt Gravitt, Gerald O’Brien

    -Postcard From Paris (The Band Perry), Written by Jeff Cohen, Kara DioGuardi, Kimberly Perry, Neil Perry, Reid Perry

  24. Count me as blown away by the usual snubs and ridiculous nods for the CMAs. I just hope the Clarkson/Underwood debate does not reach the level of the Swift/Underwood stuff in the weeks ahead. As for Kelly’s nomination, it’s too early. Everyone knows that. She’s a great talent. I’d just like to see her get a little more mud on her tires before the genre begins handing her awards.

  25. Not trying to keep stirring the pot but I would just like to point out that Carrie Underwood received Female Vocalist of the Year in 2006 with just two hit singles out of the gate. So while I wouldn’t call Kelly’s nomination premature, I would agree that I wish the nom would have been for better material than just the MKIA remix this past year.

  26. Jake -Kelly’s nom was definitely premature, no doubt in my mind. One single that made it to #21 on the country charts compared to Carrie’s debut single from a country album that spent 6 weeks at #1 on country radio to Kelly’s single that didn’t even crack the Top 20 and was a solo single with no country album to back it up. I think you have to learn some country music history before you try to explain Kelly’s nomination by comparing it to Carrie’s accomplishments

  27. …the single of the year category ain’t much to write home about but apart from that quite a decent reflection of the state of the genre.

    nice to see that lee brice got a new artist nomination…and he might even win. i also like the male vocalists nominations – not exactly brilliant voices, but distinctive ones. the female counterpart could actually do with some new contenders too. kelly clarkson to me looks like a fairly long shot too, even though she is a fine vocalist. hot competition among the vocal groups and a well deserved breakthrough for the eli young band.

  28. Dan and Matt….Keith Urban had 3 no. 1 songs in the eligibility period! He’s done a lot more than Chris Young has. What makes CY more elibible than Keith?? Keith’s a huge entertainer! Don’t see Chris Young as one! IMO, Keith deserves it more than Chris Young!

  29. jay,

    While I do realize that Carrie also had an album to “back her up” I just wanted to point out that Carrie was still a fairy new artist to country radio as well when she won female vocalist. I can see why people would be upset because Kelly only has the one single this year on the country charts. I guess the thing I find unfair is that if it were any other up and coming artist or veteran who had only a single that charted at 21, there wouldn’t be as much controversy over it. But the country genre, IMO, has always been very uptight when it comes to pop acts trying to crossover to this genre. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing cause we don’t always want some of the pop acts but it can be a double-edged sword for the genre as well.

  30. Here’s the inside story from Sony: They make more money off of Miranda than Carrie, even though Carrie makes more money. They have to split the proceeds with 19 recordings for Carrie. For Miranda they get their proceeds themselves. Therefore, they promote Miranda over Carrie.
    To Nashville, it’s all about money. Hence, why was Kelly Clarkson was chosen over Kellie Pickler when Kellie’s “100 Proof” was the best true country album this year.

    Also, on CMA chat last night, they said “Blown Away” came in May with the deadline for nominations in June. No one knew the album was going to be so big. There was nothing from Carrie until bam an Album. But with the success of “Blown Away”, the CMA’s may fudge the date a bit next year to give the album it’s due. They predict next year will be Carrie’s year.

  31. @Gloria

    “Tomorrow” went Platinum and “You” went Gold; to my knowledge, none of Urban’s most recent hits have gotten a certification, though I could be wrong. So there’s that, and I just think Young’s music is defining the country music scene more than Urban’s right now. Not to mention that Urban has won three of these before with better music.

  32. Jake, – it has nothing to do for me with the fact Kelly is POP concerning this nomination – there was just no justification for it. If a country artist had gotten a nomination with only one single that didn’t reach the Top Twenty with no country album, fans would also be upset because you have Sara Evans, Kellie Pickler, Jana Kramer who have great albums and Jana even reached the Top 10 with her song. It doesn’t make any sense at all, on any level. Carrie was a new artist but she had three incredible singles – Jesus Take the Wheel 6 weeks at #1 and Before He Cheats 5 weeks at #1 and Don’t Forget to Remember Me #2 on BB but #1 on R&R at that time Carrie’s success was immense at the outset, Kelly had one song in the Top 30 on country radio.

  33. “Blown Away” will have a long shelf life, I predict, but I am skeptical that it will garner a nomination next year. If Carrie’s tour is really huge, that might propel it, but it’s a moot point if the rules/dates are not adjusted by the CMA folks. I have been reading a lot of reaction online to the nominees last night and today. I think the uproar has been about the same as it usually is. The CMAs always invite fan outrage for this category or that. I do think Carrie being shut out since 2008 seems a little strange. Her vocals, if anything, have only gotten better. But she’s not the only oversight. There are some powerful labels, with influential people, driving the nominations, but the same can be said of the Oscars and other such awards, can’t it? I just look forward to Brad and Carrie doing another great job hosting and having fun with all of it.

  34. Mandy, I guess you haven’t heard it. In fact, Many said if her first release was “Blown Away” instead of “Good Girl” it would definitely have been nominated. It’s her best album since her first. It’s funny really.

  35. Pleasantly surprised by the nominations for “Even if It Breaks Your Heart” in Song of the Year and “Safe and Sound” in Vocal Event. And this is probably the first set of CMA or ACM nominees in years that actually justifies separate Vocal Group and Vocal Duo categories, though Sugarland’s nomination is laughable.

    Here’s the inside story from Sony: They make more money off of Miranda than Carrie, even though Carrie makes more money. They have to split the proceeds with 19 recordings for Carrie. For Miranda they get their proceeds themselves. Therefore, they promote Miranda over Carrie.
    To Nashville, it’s all about money.

    Sources, please.

    Finally: big Little Big Town fan, but what a depressing world where “Boondocks” and “Little White Church” happened and “Pontoon” is their biggest hit and awards magnet.

    Agreed. Fortunately, “Pontoon,” though I can still see why it was released as a single, turned out to be the weakest track on their album, which has at least three songs I’d say are on the same plane as “Boondocks” and “Little White Church.”

  36. ^^I don’t understand the Sony-makes-more-money-from-Miranda’s-album theory, attributed to the 19R involvement on Carrie’s album. If that is the case, and which meant this was probably the scenario from the start of the careers of the 2 ladies, then why did Carrie won for 3 consecutive years for FV? Wouldn’t the label opt to push for Miranda’s noms even back then, if the label really profits more from her album?

  37. Some have cited Carrie Underwood’s 2006 Female Vocalist victory as evidence that Clarkson’s somewhat premature nomination is not an unprecented occurance. I’ll just briefly point out that Underwood’s achievement was the exception, not the rule. It is very rare for a new artist receive a nomination in such a prestigious field as Female Vocalist of the Year. As others have brought out, Underwood was an oustanding case of a new artist who had enjoyed massive success at radio and retail right out of the gate, which led to her taking home the award.

    As mentioned before, Kelly Clarkson has had one not-quite-Top 20 hit (her two hit country duets both came before this year’s eligibility period), and has not released a country album. Underwood, had had a pair of big hits at radio (including a six-week number one), and the top selling country album of that year, so her situation was a far cry from being a direct parallel to Clarkson’s.

  38. As the “some” I would like to say that I know that Carrie’s win in 2006 doesn’t parallel Clarkson’s history with country radio this past year. While I would’ve loved to see artists like Kellie Pickler, Jana Kramer, etc get nominations, I’m one of the few who just isn’t as shook up about Clarkson getting this nomination. I know I’m biased because I am a Clarkson fan so that’s one reason. The other reason is because I know this nomination will obviously get more viewers for the CMA’s and draw in a bigger crowd. Good or bad, right or wrong isn’t really the issue for that, it’s just the way it is. More people are going to tune in to see who wins Female Vocalist of the year when you have two former American Idol winners and Taylor Swift in the running. Do I think Kelly will win? No, but to me it seems like the CMA’s are asking her to join the genre full-time and that’s alright with me.

  39. No doubt Clarkson is talented and I appreciate that she seems to respect and have friends in country music, but my problem with her nomination is that she’s never even called herself a country artist. At least if she had been stating that she was a country music artist, even if I disagreed on whether or not she sounded like one, I could understand the nomination, even if I didn’t agree with it. For me, this isn’t a matter of disagreeing with the nomination as much as simply being baffled by it.

  40. Ooo, now I’m enticed, too. I was worried when I saw that LBT had moved on from Wayne Kirkpatrick and sought so much outside material, but from your Slant review it sounds like it worked. I really find “Pontoon” more boring than “bad,” so if it finally breaks ’em into the club, worth it. It sure seems like Capitol’s thrown their promotional heft behind them this time, so that’s nice.

  41. For the record, I do like Kelly Clarkson, and I would be happy to see her become a greater part of the country music community. My main problem with her nomination has to do with the timing of it.

    Count me among those excited to hear the new Little Big Town album, especially having read Jonathan’s Slant review. Sounds like it’ll be a keeper.

  42. I actually enjoy “Pontoon”, which is probably odd since I typically hate any song with reverb and haven’t always gotten Little Big Town on record (I always like their live performances).

  43. Lynn..

    When Carrie won AI right out of the gate, she was making a world more money than Miranda. So the split didn’t matter then. That was when Carrie’s first album sold 7 million copies which is unheard of today. Miranda too , took a few years to become noticed. Now that she’s notice and some of Carrie’s fans have now latched on to Taylor, the split of money matters to Sony.

  44. Ok this has been going around today:
    Someone within the SONY camp said that they didn’t want “Blown Away” nominated this year and that it will be nominated next year especially if it has 4 singles go to #1. They want it to have a chance to win next year. Also, (and this is bad), they want Carrie to crossover more and creating more venues for this to happen. Great..she finally makes a good, more country album and they are trying to push her to other genres. BLAH!

  45. I’m all for being skeptical about industry back scratching events like awards shows. But when the conspiracy theories are changing every minute and none of them have any links or sources, that whole line of thinking starts looking pretty dumb.

    It turns out though Vicki didn’t make up the claim that Sony gets a higher split from Miranda’s album than Carrie’s but it’s not as damning as she said:


    Around the 35:00 minute mark.

    I don’t recognize the guy who said it. The only truly “inside” person in that chat I recognized was Chuck Dauphin of Billboard and formerly of country radio. He’s the one talking about jealousy related to Carrie’s Idol head start as a possible reason for CMA voters being hesitant to support her now. POSSIBLE reason. The other guy gave nothing to back up his comment about splits and it sounds like he’s just speculating why Sony Nashville might have a reason to support Miranda instead of Carrie.

    I personally find that reasoning to be specious and I feel they were answering a loaded question in the 1st place. But, I’m no insider.

    I don’t know about this new theory but there seems to be plenty of confusion about whether albums are eligibility in multiple years like they are at the ACMs. If so then Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, Kenny Chesney, and Carrie still have some hope for next year. I’d take Alan, Josh, and Carrie’s albums over the Luke, Lady Antebellum, and Dierks Bentley albums but they were all released this spring.

    George Strait’s album seems to be out of luck though and that’s too bad.

    The Kelly Clarkson nomination should open the industry’s eyes up to just how hard they are on the genre’s females. That nomination is more about the lack of depth in the women’s field than about Kelly. I guess you can factor in Kelly’s ties to Reba and the Blackstock clan too. I guess the Blackstocks are really looking to give her a position in the country world.

  46. Well, all credit to Chuck Dauphin for attempting to diffuse some of the stan war nonsense going on in that part of the Google+ discussion. But Rick Barker’s comment about Sony is pure speculation, not actually a credible, verifiable source of “inside” information from Sony. At all. I’m highly skeptical of the corporate-run media and how “art” gets sold as a product, but no.

    RE: LBT
    I don’t think “Pontoon” is their worst single by any means– it has a stronger melody and more creative production than, say, “A Little More You”– but it’s the least successful and most literal, one-dimensional track on the album. I just hope they have the change to perform the set’s second single, whatever that turns out to be (“Sober,” preferably), on the actual CMA show.

  47. The male vocalist nominations are dead on…glad to see Keith in there…I’d also love to see Chief win for album of the year, its one of the greatest records I’ve heard. And wow..I didn’t notice Kelly was nominated til now. Yes she’s a great vocalist, but she had one country hit, that was just a tweaked version of her pop song. We’ve got to bring the country back to country y’all.

    @Nick Completly agree. Chris Young is so talented and definetly should’ve won something for “Tomorrow”, in my opinion.

  48. It’s a good thing Brad and Carrie are such great hosts, because the nominees (and some performances), can be a complete and utter joke.

    The Clarkson nomination is a complete joke. Just shows how big of a role politics play here. It adds insult to injury that Kelly’s duet was in 2011. Ugh. No wonder no one takes these awards seriously.

    Miranda, Blake and Eric getting lots of love is no surprise. It’s just a shame that the former two went from being excellent to middle of the road once they were noticed by the industry.

    I’m not much of an LBT fan, but I dig Pontoon, and the recognition was long overdue. It is a shame it had to happen among such a weak field though. They deserve to be among stronger competition.

    As much as I think Rascal Flatts deserve to be among the vocal group nominees, this is the first time I really can’t against the inclusion of one. All had a really great year and actually deserve to be there.

    Carrie’s “Blown Away” can be nominated at the 2013 CMA’s. As bummed as I am to see her snag one nomination, I can see the logic in waiting to push her until she has finished a full tour and made more appearances.

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