The list of nominees for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” reveals an interesting mix of category veterans with artists earning their first acclaim in 2012 — artists like Dave Barnes, Lee Brice, Eli Young Band, Hunter Hayes, Will Hoge, Love and Theft, Eric Paslay, Lionel Richie, Dan Wilson, and, yes, even Snoop Dogg by way of an impressive collaboration with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson.
On the heels of two huge No. 1 singles (“Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”) from their Life at Best album, the Eli Young Band is riding a career wave right into the Vocal Group of the Year category. The band, whose current single “Say Goodnight” is at Country radio now, is nominated alongside fellow contenders Little Big Town, who earned 3 nominations in 2012; The Band Perry; Zac Brown Band; and Lady Antebellum, who also earned a nomination for Album of the Year for Own the Night.
Song of the Year honors the songwriters who craft the nominated entries. And this category is responsible for four artists’ first-time CMA Awards nods. American/Southern Rock artist Will Hoge and rising Country artist Eric Paslay share writing credit – and a CMA Awards nomination – on “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” Rock artist Dave Barnes wrote “God Gave Me You,” and secured a CMA Awards nomination in the process. Frequent Dierks Bentley collaborator and Semisonic lead vocalist and guitarist Dan Wilson also lands in Song of the Year for co-writing “Home” with Bentley and Brett Beavers. These three tracks are nominated with “Over You” (written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton) and “Springsteen” (written by Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde).
Earning their first career nominations ever in the New Artist of the Year category are Lee Brice, Hunter Hayes and Love and Theft (also nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year). The category, which acknowledges “most significant creative growth and development” within the eligibility period, is rounded out with fellow nominees Thompson Square (also nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year) and Brantley Gilbert, who earned his first career nomination in 2011 for his songwriting credit on the Jason Aldean hit “Dirt Road Anthem.”
Five memorable artist collaborations vie for Musical Event of the Year in 2012, including “Dixie Highway” (Alan Jackson and Zac Brown); “Feel Like a Rock Star” (Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw); “Safe & Sound” (Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars); “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” (Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson); and “Stuck On You” (Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker), the latter two of which secured nominations for CMA Awards first-timers Snoop Dogg and Lionel Richie.
CMA congratulates all these artists on their first career CMA Awards nominations, plus all the nominees who were honored today by their peers in the music industry. And, above all, we thank the entire Country Music community for continuing to create music we love.
See you all Thursday, Nov. 1, when Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood host “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” LIVE from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena at 8|7c on ABC.
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