Strait leads Country Music Awards

Hall of Famer, Paisley earn five noms each

George Strait, who had his 55th No. 1 single this year and was recently inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame, returned Thursday to the Country Music Association Awards with top nominations including entertainer and male vocalist of the year.

Strait and Brad Paisley led with five nominations each. Strait was also nominated for musical event of the year, for a performance with Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson; album of the year for “It Just Comes Natural”; and single of the year for “Wrapped,” his 55th career No. 1 single.

Paisley is nominated for entertainer, male vocalist, his album, “Fifth Gear,” best single for “Ticks,” and best music video with “Online.”

Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban rounded out the entertainer of the year category.

Josh Turner joined Chesney, Paisley, Strait and Urban with nominations for male vocalist of the year.

Bluegrass star Alison Krauss was nominated for female vocalist of the year, along with Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood.

The CMA Awards are scheduled for Nov. 7 in Nashville.

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