Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley Lead ACM Awards Nominations - Rolling Stone
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Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley Lead ACM Awards Nominations

Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks score surprise Entertainer of the Year nods

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert leads all nominees with eight nominations at the 50th annual ACM Awards.

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

With eight total nominations, including one for top prize Entertainer of the Year, Miranda Lambert leads all nominees at this year’s 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The nominations where announced Friday morning via Twitter.

Dierks Bentley, whose album Riser was both a commercial and critical success, follows his former touring partner Lambert with seven nominations, including Album of the Year and Male Vocalist. In a twist, a tie in the latter category necessitated six — instead of the customary five — nominees. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton join Bentley in the Male Vocalist race. The Song of the Year category also resulted in a six-nominee field: Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids”; Lambert’s “Automatic”; Bryan’s “Drink a Beer”; Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow”; Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown”; and Bentley’s “I Hold On.”

The ACM nominations are often distinguished by the inclusion of newer artists: Brandy Clark, with little radio airplay, is up for Female Vocalist of the Year, Brothers Osborne and Maddie & Tae compete in Vocal Duo of the Year, and the Cadillac Three appear in the Vocal Event of the Year category for their anthem “The South.”

But it’s the Entertainer of the Year category that best illustrates the ACMs’ wild card reputation. Garth Brooks, who returned last year from a lengthy retirement, and Florida Georgia Line, who released just their second album in October, are both up for Entertainer, against perennial nominees Lambert, Bryan and Aldean. The exclusion of Shelton, who co-hosts the ceremony with Bryan, is a shocker, as is the snub of Church, who has mounted one of the year’s most in-demand tours.

Both the Entertainer category and the New Artist category winners are determined by fan voting. The final three New Artist nominees will be announced later, with voting to determine the victor beginning a few days before the show.

The Academy of Country Music Awards air Sunday, April 19th on CBS from AT&T Stadium in Texas.

Here is the full list of 2015 ACM Awards nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Florida Georgia Line

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Dierks Bentley
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year
Brandy Clark
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae
The Swon Brothers

Vocal Group of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Album of the Year
Old Boots, New Dirt – Jason Aldean
Pain Killer – Little Big Town
Platinum – Miranda Lambert
Riser – Dierks Bentley
The Outsiders – Eric Church

Single Record of the Year
“American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
“Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
“Dirt” – Florida Georgia Line
“Drunk on a Plane” – Dierks Bentley
“I Don’t Dance” – Lee Brice

Song of the Year (TIE)
“American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
“Automatic” – Miranda Lambert
“Drink a Beer” – Luke Bryan
“Follow Your Arrow” – Kacey Musgraves
“Give Me Back My Hometown” – Eric Church
“I Hold On” – Dierks Bentley

Songwriter of the Year
Rodney Clawson
Ashley Gorley
Luke Laird
Josh Osborne
Chris Tompkins

Video of the Year
“American Kids” – Kenny Chesney
“Cop Car” – Keith Urban
“Drunk on a Plane” – Dierks Bentley
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell
“Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood

Vocal Event of the Year
“Lonely Tonight” – Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe
“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” – Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill
“Somethin’ Bad” – Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood
“The South” – The Cadillac Three featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli
“This Is How We Roll” – Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan 

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