Carrie Underwood

Michael Caulfield/

It may be a new year, but it's more or less the same old song for the Country Music Association Awards—at least as far as their nominees are concerned.

Perennial honky-tonk favorite Kenny Chesney once again dominated the competition, scoring a leading seven nominations for the 42nd Annual CMAs, including nods for Album and Entertainer of the Year.

Hot on his cowboy heels are Jennifer Nettles with six nods, five of which came from her band Sugarland, followed by George Strait who managed to lasso five nominations.

The event's 12 categories were announced in two rounds this morning, with Carrie Underwood and Alan Jackson among the major contenders for some of the night's most prestigious awards.

Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts had the honor of revealing the nominees for the five biggest categories of the show on Good Morning America, and, as tends to happen in such situations, found themselves on the receiving end of their own announcement.

"I can't believe it," Swift said after being named among the nominees for Female Vocalist of the Year. "I'm having a really good morning."

Make that year.

Joining the newest Jonas Brother love interest in the category are Nashville veterans Underwood, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride.

As for their Y-chromosomed brethren, the pool for Male Vocalist of the Year includes Chesney, Jackson, Strait, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.

Swap Jackson for Sugarland and the same group vies for the night's top honor, Entertainer of the Year, a category that has been dominated by Chesney for three of the past four years.

Up for Best Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Emerson Drive and a little group called the Eagles, which might spice up what has been, for the past years, a one-horse race, with Rascal Flatts sweeping the category.

The night's other top honor, Album of the Year, is going to be a battle of the heavyweights.

Underwood's Carnival Ride, Chesney's Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, Jackson's Good Time, Strait's Troubadour and Brooks & Dunn's Cowboy Town will battle it out for the prize.

The remainder of the contenders were announced by Lady Antebellum and James Otto, both nominees, during a special edition of CMT Insider.

The 2008 CMAs take place in Nashville Nov. 12 and air live on ABC.

Here's a complete list of nominees:

Entertainer of the Year

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Sugarland
  • Keith Urban

Female Vocalist

  • Alison Krauss
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Alan Jackson
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

New Artist

  • Jason Aldean
  • Rodney Atkins
  • Lady Antebellum
  • James Otto
  • Kellie Pickler

Vocal Group

  • Eagles
  • Emerson Drive
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts

Vocal Duo

  • Big & Rich
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Sugarland
  • The Wreckers

Single of the Year

  • Kenny Chesney, "Don't Blink"
  • Miranda Lambert, "Gunpowder & Lead"
  • George Strait, "I Saw God Today"
  • Sugarland, "Stay"
  • Trace Adkins, "You're Gonna Miss This"

Album of the Year

  • Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride
  • Brooks & Dunn, Cowboy Town
  • Alan Jackson, Good Time
  • Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
  • George Strait, Troubadour

Song of the Year

  • Alan Jackson, "Good Time"
  • Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell and Wade Kirby, "I Saw God Today"
  • Brad Paisley, "Letter to Me"
  • Jennifer Nettles, "Stay"
  • Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller, "You're Gonna Miss This"

Musical Event

  • Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood, "Another Try"
  • Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney, "Every Other Weekend"
  • Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, "Gone, Gone, Gone"
  • Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen, "Life in a Northern Town"
  • Kenny Chesney and George Strait, "Shiftwork"

Music Video

  • Kenny Chesney, "Don't Blink"
  • Alan Jackson, "Good Time"
  • Sugarland, "Stay"
  • Brad Paisley, "Waitin' on a Woman"
  • Trace Adkins, "You're Gonna Miss This"


  • Jerry Douglas, dobro
  • Paul Franklin, steel guitar
  • Dann Huff, guitar
  • Brent Mason, guitar
  • Mac McAnally, guitar

(Originally published Sept. 10, 2008 at 7:55 a.m. PT)

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