Female acts may be largely absent from country radio these days, but with its latest talent announcement, the 49th CMA Awards are poised to shine a spotlight on some of the genre’s leading ladies. With a combined total of 12 nominations among them, nominees Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie & Tae and Kacey Musgraves are all set to perform.
Miranda Lambert is the most awarded female in CMA Awards history with 11 wins and 38 nominations. Her 2015 nominations also put her in the running for the night’s top honor, Entertainer of the Year, in addition to Musical Event (“Smokin’ and Drinkin'” with Little Big Town) and Music Video of the Year for “Little Red Wagon,” directed by Trey Fanjoy. In addition, the reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year vies for her sixth consecutive title in that category.
Kelsea Ballerini, riding high on the breakout success of her debut Number One single “Love Me Like You Mean It,” is also in the Female Vocalist race, along with a nomination in the highly competitive New Artist of the Year category. Three-time nominees Maddie & Tae are also nominated for New Artist, as well as Vocal Duo of the Year and Music Video, while Kacey Musgraves competes in Female Vocalist, Music Video and for Album of the Year for her release Pageant Material.
Little Big Town and Eric Church lead all of this year’s nominees, with five nods each. Church and Hank Williams Jr., who recently signed with the Nash Icon label, will kick off the ABC telecast with a performance of Williams’ new single “Are You Ready for the Country.”
The 49th Annual CMA Awards air live Wednesday, November 4th, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return to host the three-hour broadcast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, with Paisley already hinting about jokes in the duo’s comedic opening segment. Two words: Ashley Madison.