Can Taylor Swift Crack CMA Awards Glass Ceiling?

"Love Story" singer becomes first solo female in nine years to get Entertainer of the Year nod, but can she beat Paisley & Co.?

By Gina Serpe Sep 09, 2009 6:49 PMTags

UPDATE: Taylor Swift's early wake up call paid off.

Just in case her Christmas-harkening Twitter response didn't accurately convey her excitement and surprise at receiving four CMA nominations, Swift posted a (dare we say adorable) video of her first-hand reaction to hearing about her nods this morning.

"To country radio and the fans and anybody who voted for the CMAs this year, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you," the pajama-clad crooner said after watching the nominations unfold on Good Morning America.

"This is like one of the best days ever. I know I say that too much."


Taylor Swift may not have walked away with the most Country Music Association Award nominations this morning, but she did walk away with the most impressive nod.

While Brad Paisley emerged as the clear chicken-fried frontrunner of the CMAs, amassing a leading seven nominations, the teen songbird had the distinction of becoming the first female solo artist in nine years—and youngest nominee ever—to make the cut in the male-dominated field of Entertainer of the Year, the show's highest honor.

(The award is not to be confused with the ACMs' Entertainer of the Year Award, a glass ceiling shattered by Carrie Underwood earlier this year.)

"I am jumping up and down surrounded by dogs and my mom and screaming like it's Christmas morning," Swift tweeted in reaction to her nominations. "I'll never forget this."

Aside from Paisley, who will pull double duty on the big night, cohosting the show with Underwood, Swift vies against country heavyweights George Strait, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney for the night-capping award.

But they're not the only sampling of Nashville's finest to make the awards show cut. Hootie, anyone?

Yes, the Blowfish wrangler himself, Darius Rucker, scored two nods after relaunching himself as a country crooner last year, earning nominations for New Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year.

He competes against established stars Chesney, Paisley, Urban and Strait in the latter category.

As for Swift, all told the "Love Story" twanger rounded up four nominations, tying Strait, Jamey Johnson and the Zac Brown Band. Urban netted five.

Among her more prestigious nods is Female Vocalist of the Year, a category that pits her against country's reigning queens Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Martina McBride.

The other show-stopping award of the night, Musical Event of the Year, which smiles on the most super of superstar pairings, also faces stiff competition.

Brooks & Dunn's swan-song collaboration with McEntire, "Cowgirls Don't Cry," faces off against Paisley and Urban's "Start a Band," Chesney and Mac McAnally's "Down the Road," Lee Ann Womack and Strait's "Everything But Quits," Underwood and Randy Travis' "I Told You So," and "Old Enough," the Raconteurs' joint effort with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe.

Other big name nominees for the evening include perennial favorites Sugarland, up again for Album of the Year, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Big & Rich.

The 43rd Annual CMA Awards air live on ABC from—where else?—Nashville Nov. 11.

Here's the complete list of nominees:


• Kenny Chesney

• Brad Paisley

• George Strait

• Taylor Swift

• Keith Urban

Female Vocalist

• Miranda Lambert

• Reba McEntire

• Taylor Swift

• Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist

• Kenny Chesney

• Brad Paisley

• Darius Rucker

• George Strait

• Keith Urban

New Artist

• Randy Houser

• Jamey Johnson

• Jake Owen

• Darius Rucker

• Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group

• Eagles

• Lady Antebellum

• Little Big Town

• Rascal Flatts

• Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo

• Big & Rich

• Brooks & Dunn

• Joey + Rory

• Montgomery Gentry

• Sugarland


• "Chicken Fried," Zac Brown Band

• "I Run To You," Lady Antebellum

• "In Color," Jamey Johnson

• "People Are Crazy," Billy Currington

• "Then," Brad Paisley


• American Saturday Night, Brad Paisley

• Defying Gravity, Keith Urban

• Fearless, Taylor Swift

• Love on the Inside, Sugarland

• That Lonesome Song, Jamey Johnson


• "Chicken Fried," Zac Brown/Wyatt Durrette

• "I Told You So," Randy Travis

• "In Color," Jamey Johnson/Lee Thomas Miller/James Otto

• "People Are Crazy," Bobby Braddock/Troy Jones

• "Then," Brad Paisley/Chris DuBois/Ashley Gorley

Musical Event

• "Cowgirls Don't Cry," Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire

• "Down the Road," Kenny Chesney with Mac McAnally

• "Everything But Quits," Lee Ann Womack with George Strait

• "I Told You So," Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis

• "Old Enough," The Raconteurs featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe

• "Start a Band," Brad Paisley and Keith Urban


• "Boots On," Randy Houser

• "Love Story," Taylor Swift

• "People Are Crazy," Billy Currington

• "Start a Band," Brad Paisley and Keith Urban

• "Troubadour," George Strait


• Eddie Bayers (drums)

• Paul Franklin (steel guitar)

• Dann Huff (guitar)

• Brent Mason (guitar)

• Mac McAnally (guitar)

(Originally published on Sept. 9, 2009 at 10:10 a.m. PT)