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Chris Stapleton and Eric Church lead the crop of nominations for the 55th annual CMA Awards with five apiece, the Country Music Association announced Thursday, with newcomer Gabby Barrett moving in close behind with a surprise four nods,

The Country Music Association announced the 2021 crop of nominations Thursday morning as the run-up to the Nov. 10 telecast on ABC begins.

Church and Stapleton are each nominated in the same five categories, topped by entertainer of the year, followed with nods for male vocalist of the year, album of the year (Church: “Heart”; Stapleton: “Starting Over”) and single and song of the year (for Church’s “Hell of a View” and Stapleton’s “Starting Over” in both categories).

Last year, Miranda Lambert led the nominations, with seven. This year, without a new album in contention, her total drops to three nods, but she still remains the most nominated woman in the history of the CMAs, and now moves up to a tie — with Brad Paisley — for the third most nominations overall. Among the awards she’s up for is entertainer of the year, her fifth time vying for that (without any previous wins), and female vocalist of the year, marking her 15th time at bat in that category (she has a nearly .500 average there, having won it seven times). Her other nomination in 2021 is for musical event of the year for a collaboration with Elle King, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”

Joining Church, Stapleton and Lambert as entertainer of the year nominees are Luke Combs and Carrie Underwood. Four of the five nominees in that marquee category are holdovers from last year’s nominations. The only nominee from 2020 not making the cut this year is Keith Urban, with Stapleton taking over that slot. Church won it last year for the first time, and he’s the only one up for it this year to have previously received the award.

The reigning country superstar of 2021, Morgan Wallen, got one nomination, as the blockbuster “Dangerous: The Double Album” picked up a nod for album of the year. That recognition and the lack of any more for Wallen come with a big asterisk. In the wake of the scandal over his use of the N-word early this year, the CMA board decided that Wallen would be ineligible for 2021 awards in any category where he would contend only as an individual — meaning, entertainer and male vocalist of the year — but would remain eligible in the other divisions, where he would share the honor with collaborators. Wallen may have a hard time eking out an album of the year win, but enough voters felt that having the biggest record of the year in any genre so far was worthy of at least some recognition, after he was blocked for contending for anything at the ACM and CMT awards.

Besides the albums by Church, Stapleton and Wallen, the other two contenders for album of the year are Carly Pearce’s “29” and Brothers Osbourne’s “Skeletons,” both critically well-liked albums that beat out some bigger-selling possibilities.

The four nominations for Barrett, whose fame from “American Idol” has translated to country and even some pop success, are for new artist of the year, female vocalist of the year and single and song of the year (both for “The Good Ones”).

Unlike the Grammys, the CMAs allow young artists to compete for new artist of the year more than once, so Barrett is a holdover from last year in that category, as are Ingrid Andress and Jimmie Allen. Mickey Guyton — who, shockingly to some, has never previously received a CMA nod, despite her years of acclaimed singles — and Hardy round out the new artist contenders. Wallen won the award last November, just three months before getting into hot water.

Barrett is the only artist to clock in with four nominations, after Church’s and Stapleton’s leading five. But a pair of behind-the-scenes contenders also earned four nominations each: producer Jay Joyce and mix engineer Jason Hall, who work together. They’re each doubly nominated for album of the year (for the Church and Brothers Osborne releases) and for single of the year (for Ashley McBryde’s “One Night Standards” and Church’s “A Hell of a View”).

Tied for three nominations apiece are Lambert, McBryde, Combs, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Maren Morris and Chris Young.

Voting among CMA members for this final round will take place starting Oct. 1 and ending Oct. 27. The ABC telecast on Nov. 10 will again have Robert Deaton as executive producer, Alan Carter as director and David Wild as head writer.

The complete list of nominees:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
• Eric Church
• Luke Combs
• Miranda Lambert
• Chris Stapleton
• Carrie Underwood

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
• “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
Mix Engineer: Sean Moffitt
• “The Good Ones” – Gabby Barrett
Producers: Ross Copperman, Zach Kale
Mix Engineers: Chris Galland, Manny Marroquin
• “Hell of a View” – Eric Church
Producer: Jay Joyce
Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
• “One Night Standards” – Ashley McBryde
Producer: Jay Joyce
Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
• “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
• “29” – Carly Pearce
Producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Jimmy Robbins
Mix Engineer: Ryan Gore
• “Dangerous: The Double Album” – Morgan Wallen
Producers: Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi
Mix Engineer: Joey Moi
• “Heart” – Eric Church
Producer: Jay Joyce
Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
• “Skeletons” – Brothers Osborne
Producer: Jay Joyce
Mix Engineers: Jason Hall, Jay Joyce
• “Starting Over” – Chris Stapleton
Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
Mix Engineer: Vance Powell

SONG OF THE YEAR
• “Forever After All”
Songwriters: Luke Combs, Drew Parker, Robert Williford
• “The Good Ones”
Songwriters: Gabby Barrett, Zach Kale, Emily Landis, Jim McCormick
• “Hell of a View”
Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Eric Church, Monty Criswell
• “One Night Standards”
Songwriters: Nicolette Hayford, Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde
• “Starting Over”
Songwriters: Mike Henderson, Chris Stapleton

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Gabby Barrett
• Miranda Lambert
• Ashley McBryde
• Maren Morris
• Carly Pearce

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
• Dierks Bentley
• Eric Church
• Luke Combs
• Thomas Rhett
• Chris Stapleton

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
• Lady A
• Little Big Town
• Midland
• Old Dominion
• Zac Brown Band

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
• Brooks & Dunn
• Brothers Osborne
• Dan + Shay
• Florida Georgia Line
• Maddie & Tae

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
• “Buy Dirt” – Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan
Producer: Paul DiGiovanni
• “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
Producers: Aaron Eshuis, Teddy Reimer
• “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” – Elle King & Miranda Lambert
Producer: Martin Johnson
• “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
Producers: Corey Crowder, Chris Young
• “Half of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
Producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
• Jenee Fleenor, Fiddle
• Paul Franklin, Steel Guitar
• Aaron Sterling, Drums
• Ilya Toshinskiy, Banjo
• Derek Wells, Guitar

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
• “Chasing After You” – Ryan Hurd with Maren Morris
Director: TK McKamy
• “Famous Friends” – Chris Young with Kane Brown
Director: Peter Zavadil
• “Gone” – Dierks Bentley
Directors: Wes Edwards, Travis Nicholson, Ed Pryor, Running Bear, Sam Siske
• “Half of My Hometown” – Kelsea Ballerini (featuring Kenny Chesney)
Director: Patrick Tracy
• “Younger Me” – Brothers Osborne
Director: Reid Long

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
• Jimmie Allen
• Ingrid Andress
• Gabby Barrett
• Mickey Guyton
• HARDY

 

The finalists for broadcast personality of the year (by market size):

Weekly National
• “American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) – Westwood One
• “Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One
• “Country Gold” (Terri Clark) – Westwood One
• “The Crook & Chase Countdown” (Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase) – iHeartMedia
• “Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence” (Tracy Lawrence and Patrick Thomas) – Compass Media Networks

Daily National
• “The Big D and Bubba Show” (Derek Haskins, Sean Powell, Patrick Thomas and Carsen Humphreville) – Compass Media Networks
• “The Bobby Bones Show” (Bobby Bones, Amy Brown, “Lunchbox” Dan Chappell, Eddie Garcia, “Morgan #2” Huelsman, “Raymundo” Ray Slater, “Scuba Steve” Stephen Spradlin, “Mike D” Rodriguez and “Utility Hillary” Borden) – Premiere Networks
• “CMT After Midnite” (Cody Alan) – Premiere Networks
• “The Lia Show” (Lia Knight) – Westwood One
• “The Music Row Happy Hour” (Buzz Brainard and Ania Hammar) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio

Major Market
• “Angie Ward” – WUBL, Atlanta, Ga.
• “Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX, Phoenix, Ariz.
• “Hawkeye in the Morning with Hawkeye and Michelle” (“Hawkeye” Mark Louis Rybczyk and Michelle Rodriguez) – KSCS, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
• “The Morning Bull: George, Mo & Cowboy Dave” (George Lindsey, “Mo” Monica Lunsford and “Cowboy Dave” Bayless) – KILT, Houston, Texas
• “Tampa Bay’s Morning Krewe with J.R., Launa and Kevin” (“J.R.” Jon Jaus, Launa Phillips and Kevin Ebel) – WQYK, Tampa Bay, Fla.

Large Market
• “Jesse Tack” – WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio
• “Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS, Indianapolis, Ind.
• “Lexi & Banks” (“Lexi” Elena Abatgis and “Banks” Jared Danielson) – KUBL, Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, Utah
• “Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL, Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
• “The Wayne D Show” (“Wayne D” Danielson and Taylor Rosenberg) – WSIX, Nashville, Tenn.

Medium Market
• “Brent Michaels” – KUZZ, Bakersfield, Calif.
• “Ellis and Bradley Show” (Bill Ellis and Beth Bradley) – WSSL, Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.
• “Julie and DJ in the Morning” (“Julie K” Kansy and “D.J. Thee Trucker” Dale Sellers) – WPCV, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
• “Mo & StyckMan” (“Mo” Melissa Wagner and “StyckMan” Greg Owens) – WUSY, Chattanooga, Tenn.
• “Steve & Gina In The Morning” (Steve Lundy and Gina Melton) – KXKT, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa

Small Market
• “Barrett, Fox & Berry” (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox and Tracy Berry) – KKNU, Eugene-Springfield, Ore.
• “Dr. Shane and Tess in the Morning” (Shane Collins and Tess Connell) – WPAP, Panama City, Fla.
• “KTTS Morning Show with Nancy & Rick” (Nancy Simpson and Rick Moore) – KTTS, Springfield, Mo.
• “Liz & Scotty in the Morning” (Liz Del Grosso and Scotty Cox) – KCLR, Columbia, Mo.
• “Steve, Ben and Nikki” (Steve Stroud, Ben Walker and Nikki Thomas) – WXBQ, Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.

The finalists for radio station of the year:

Major Market
• KNIX – Phoenix, Ariz.
• KNUC – Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.
• KYGO – Denver-Boulder, Colo.
• WNSH – New York City, N.Y.
• WXTU – Philadelphia, Pa.
• WYCD – Detroit, Mich.

Large Market
• WFMS – Indianapolis, Ind.
• WMIL – Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
• WQDR – Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
• WSIX – Nashville, Tenn.
• WUBE – Cincinnati, Ohio

Medium Market
• KATM – Modesto, Calif.
• KXKT – Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
• KUZZ – Bakersfield, Calif.
• WQMX – Akron, Ohio
• WXCY – Wilmington, Del.

Small Market
• KCLR – Columbia, Mo.
• KTTS – Springfield, Mo.
• WBYT – South Bend, Ind.
• WXBQ – Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.
• WXFL – Florence-Muscle Shoals, Ala.
• WYCT – Pensacola, Fla.