By Jason the 200 lb. Cowboy

Yesterday, the nominations for the 50th CMA Awards were announced. Leading the way are Eric Church, Maren Morris, and Chris Stapleton with five nominations each! Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are close behind with four nods followed by Tim McGraw with three.

Stapleton has been recognized in the coveted Entertainer of the Year category although he’ll have some stiff competition. Also up for the award is Garth Brooks, a four-time Entertainer of the Year winner, along with last year’s winner Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, who won the honor in 2005.

Some big names were snubbed this year, with Blake Shelton not receiving any nominations, despite releasing “If I’m Honest” this year, while Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Sam Hunt, who just landed his fourth straight number one song from “Montevallo,” were also shut out.

Keith Urban was helping to announce this year’s CMA Awards nominees yesterday when he learned of his four nominations, which include Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album and Musical Event for his collaboration with Carrie Underwood on “The Fighter.” Keith could receive an additional trophy as producer of his Ripcord album.

Keith was over-the-moon about his nods, “(I’m) elated. I feel elated that we got these nominations this morning. And I just want to thank everybody who’s involved in my team and behind-the-scenes, the songwriters and producers, everybody who made this possible this morning.”

Dierks Bentley walked away with four CMA Awards nominations. He is up for Male Vocalist, Album of the Year for Black, Music Video for “Somewhere on a Beach” and Musical Event of the Year for “Different for Girls” with Elle King, who scores her first CMA nomination.

Dierks tells us: “It feels great to be nominated for four CMAs. You know, I was driving down here to do this, and I wasn’t really even thinking about the fact that I might possibly hear about me being nominated. I just didn’t put two-and-two together. I’m not that bright, I guess (laughs), so when I got down there, I’m like, ‘Oh wait. I might be reading my own nominations today, which is amazing. You work so hard on your music, and the most important audience is your fans and that’s where we take our show every night. I get validated on stage every night just by that direct interaction with our fans, but it’s great to have that recognition from your peers and this town. Just to be one of the five people nominated for any category the CMA has to offer is a huge honor.”

Old Dominion were in Alaska yesterday (Wednesday, August 31st) when the news of their two CMA Awards nominations reached them. The guys are up for Vocal Group Of The Year and New Artist Of The Year. Lead singer Matthew Ramsey tells us about waking up to the exciting information: “We’re in Alaska, and you know so there’s quite a big time difference, and it’s a pretty amazing way to wake up with your phone just kind of blowing up with ‘Congrats,’ you know, from all your friends and people that you work with so, you know, it’s the CMA’s, it’s a big deal and, you know, two nominations for a band like us means the world, so were in some pretty incredible company. So, yeah, it’s a pretty nice wake up call.”

Chris Young and Cassadee Pope earned a CMA Awards nomination for Music Event of the Year for their chart-topping hit, “Think of You.” Chris tells us the nod bookends the year quite nicely. “So excited to have a CMA nomination, and in a category that I have never been nominated before, Musical Event of the Year with Cassadee Pope for ‘Think of You.’ There’s been so many great things that have happened with this song, you know, from the start of the year when we went out and toured together and got to perform this every night seeing it grow every night up through it being a Number One in 15 weeks, which is so incredibly fast, to getting to perform it on some shows, and, you know, being able to cap off the end of the year with this nomination is just incredible.”



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