Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town

ERIC CHURCH AND LITTLE BIG TOWN LEAD
THE LIST OF FINALISTS FOR “THE 49th ANNUAL CMA AWARDS” WITH FIVE
NOMINATIONS EACH

History Making Debuts: For
the First Time, Four Acts Debut in New Artist
In Addition to
Male, Female, Vocal Duo, Album, Single, and Song of the Year Categories
Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for the Eighth Year,
the 2015 CMA Awards Airs Live From the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 4 on ABC

NASHVILLE – Eric
Church
and Little Big Town top the list of final nominees
for “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” with five nominations each. The stellar lineup
of finalists includes staunch traditionalists, format icons, roots rockers, and contemporary trailblazers.

“I am very excited by
this year’s list of nominees,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief
Executive Officer. “They represent the breadth and depth of the format – from
first-time nominees to revered members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.”

Kenny Chesney
and Miranda Lambert received four nominations. Sam Hunt,
Maddie & Tae
, Kacey Musgraves, and Chris
Stapleton
each received three nominations for trophies that will be handed
out on Country Music’s Biggest Night™. CMA industry voters also gave their
support to Country Music Hall of Fame members Garth Brooks, Merle
Haggard
, and Willie Nelson.

For the first time in the history of the CMA Awards,
four acts – Kelsea Ballerini, Hunt, Maddie & Tae, and Stapleton
debut in BOTH New Artist and categories for Female Vocalist of the
Year; Single and Song of the Year; Vocal Duo of the Year; and Male Vocalist and
Album of the Year (respectively).

“The 49th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted for the eighth
time by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and
broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 4 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

For the 10th
time, the announcement of the final nominees in five of the 12 CMA Awards categories
was made live on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” with two-time nominee
Ballerini and music icon Steven Tyler delivering the news from
the heart of New York City’s Times Square. Following “Good Morning America”
seven categories were announced by Ballerini and Tyler on GoodMorningAmerica.com on Yahoo and ABCnews.com – making the announcements a complete ABC takeover.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
will once again celebrate the CMA Awards with an exciting “Jimmy Kimmel Live:
After the CMAs” featuring some of Country Music’s biggest acts Wednesday, Nov. 4 (11:35 PM/ET) on ABC.

“This is our tenth anniversary
on ABC and there was no better way to kick off our Awards season than to include
our ABC partner properties in the announcement of our final nominees,” Trahern said.

Church’s nominations
include Entertainer (his first nomination in the category); Male Vocalist; Single
of the Year for “Talladega,” which was produced by Jay Joyce
and Arturo Buenahora, Jr.; Song of the Year for “Like A Wrecking
Ball,” which he wrote with Casey Beathard; and Musical Event
of the Year for “Raise ‘Em Up” with Keith Urban. Church
has a total of 17 nominations since his first in 2011 for New Artist of the Year.

Three-time CMA Vocal Group
of the Year Little Big Town (2012-2014) has been nominated in the category every
year since 2006 and received a nomination again in 2015. Adding to their list
of 21 total nominations are industry nods this year for Single of the Year for
“Girl Crush,” which was produced by Joyce; Album of the Year for Pain
Killer
, which was produced by Joyce; Musical Event of the Year with Lambert
for “Smokin’ and Drinkin’”; and Music Video of the Year for “Girl Crush”
which was directed by Karla Welch and Matthew Welch.

“Girl Crush” was also
nominated for Song of the Year, which is awarded to the songwriters (Liz
Rose
, Lori McKenna, and Hillary Lindsey).

Chesney is nominated for
Entertainer of the Year, a trophy he has collected four times (2004, 2006-2008).
His other nominations in 2015 include Single of the Year for “American Kids”
and Album of the Year for The Big Revival, both produced by Buddy
Cannon
and Chesney (Chesney only receives one nomination for the category,
but can receive a second trophy as producer). His last nominations for Single
and Album of the Year were in 2008 for “Don’t Blink” and Just Who I
Am: Poets & Pirates
. His fourth nomination is for Musical Event of the
Year for “Wild Child” with Grace Potter. The pair was also
nominated for Musical Event in 2011 for “You and Tequila.”

Rodney Clawson,
Luke Laird, and Shane McAnally all received
nominations for Song of the Year for Chesney’s “American Kids.”

Lambert received her third
Entertainer of the Year nomination in 2015 along with nominations for Female Vocalist
(she is a five-time, consecutive winner in the category); Musical Event, featuring
Little Big Town, for “Smokin’ and Drinkin’”; and Music Video of the Year
for “Little Red Wagon,” which was directed by Trey Fanjoy.
Lambert is the most awarded female in CMA Awards history with 11 wins and 38 nominations.

Earning early and ardent
industry support, three of the four acts who received three nominations in 2015
are first-time nominees (Hunt, Maddie & Tae, and Stapleton).

Hunt collected nominations for
Single of the Year for “Take Your Time,” which was produced by Zach
Crowell
and McAnally; Song of the Year for “Take Your Time,” which
Hunt wrote with McAnally and Josh Osborne; and New Artist of the Year.

Duo Maddie & Tae (Maddie
Marlow
and Tae Dye) received their first nominations
for Vocal Duo of the Year; Music Video of the Year for “Girl in a Country Song,”
which was directed by TK McKamy; and New Artist of the Year.

Stapleton’s first CMA
Awards nominations include Album of the Year for Traveller, which was
produced by Dave Cobb and Stapleton (Stapleton only receives
one nomination for the category, but can receive a second trophy as producer);
Male Vocalist of the Year; and New Artist of the Year.

Musgraves, who won New Artist of the Year in 2013 and
Song of the Year in 2014, has three nominations this year including Album of the
Year for Pageant Material, which was produced by Laird, McAnally, and
Musgraves (Musgraves only receives one nomination for the category, but can receive
a second trophy as producer); Female Vocalist; and Music Video of the Year for
“Biscuits,” which was directed by Marc Klasfeld.

Artists who received two
nominations include Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and Underwood.

Ballerini, who hosted the
announcements received her first nominations in 2015: Female Vocalist and New Artist of the Year.

Bryan, who is the reigning
Entertainer of the Year, is nominated again in 2015 (he received his first nomination
in the category in 2013). He is also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Shelton is nominated for
Musical Event of the Year with Ashley Monroe for “Lonely
Tonight” and Male Vocalist, a trophy he has won five consecutive times (2010-2014).
This marks Shelton’s second Musical Event of the Year nomination with Monroe.
Monroe was a member of Pistol Annies in 2013 when they were nominated with Shelton
for Musical Event of the Year for “Boys ‘Round Here.”

CMA Awards co-host Underwood will
be busy during the three-hour broadcast on ABC. She has two nominations including
Female Vocalist, which she has won three times (2006-2008); and Music Video of
the Year for “Something in the Water,” which was directed by Raj Kapoor.

Country Music Hall of Fame
member George Strait retains his status as the most nominated artist in CMA Awards
history with 83, but there were several other Hall of Fame members receiving nominations
including Brooks, Haggard, and Nelson.

Brooks returns to the Entertainer of the Year category
in 2015. He was last nominated in the category in 1999 and has won four times
(1991, 1992, 1997, 1998) tying him with Chesney for the most wins in the category.
He has a career total of 11 CMA trophies and 31 nominations.

Nelson and Haggard are nominated
for Musical Event of the Year for their album Django and Jimmie, the
iconic pair’s fifth collaboration in 32 years.

Nelson’s last CMA Awards nomination was in 2012 for
Musical Event of the Year for “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” with Snoop
Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, and Jamey Johnson. He has won nine CMA trophies and
received 46 nominations. Haggard was last nominated for Musical Event of the Year
in 2006 for “Politically Incorrect” with Gretchen Wilson. He has six CMA Awards and 46 nominations.

Lee Brice
continues to rack up nominations with hit songs. In 2013, “I Drive Your Truck”
won Song of the Year for the songwriters. In 2014, he was nominated as a songwriter
for his hit “I Don’t Dance” with songwriters Rob Hatch and Dallas Davidson.
And this year, “I Don’t Dance” is nominated for Single of the Year. Brice
also produced the song, which makes him eligible to receive a second trophy as producer.

Jason Aldean
is nominated for Album of the Year for Old Boots, New Dirt, produced
by Michael Knox. In 2011, Aldean won Album of the Year for My Kinda Party.

Randy Houser
received his first nomination as a songwriter in 2015, for “Like a Cowboy,”
which he wrote with Brice Long. He has received two previous
nominations for Music Video of the Year and New Artist (2009).

Making her return to the Female
Vocalist of the Year category in 2015 is Lee Ann Womack. She won the title in 2001.

Rounding out the field
for Male Vocalist of the Year is Dierks Bentley, a 15-time nominee
and two-time winner including the Horizon Award in 2005 (now New Artist of the
Year) and Music Video of the Year in 2014 for “Drunk on a Plane.”

Urban’s “Raise ‘Em
Up” featuring Church is nominated for Musical Event, a category Urban has won
three times: “Start A Band” with Paisley (2009), “Highway Don’t Care”
with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift (2013), and “We Were Us” with Lambert (2014).

Joining Little Big Town
in the CMA Vocal Group of the Year category are Lady Antebellum,
who have also won Vocal Group three times (2009-2011); Rascal Flatts,
who have won six times (2003-2008); The Band Perry, who have
been nominated six times (2010-2015); and Zac Brown Band, who
have been nominated every year since 2009.

Joining Maddie & Tae as first-time nominees in
the Vocal Duo of the Year Category are Brothers Osborne. Dan
+ Shay
are returning to the category after receiving their first nomination
in 2014. Rounding out the category are two-time winners Florida Georgia
Line
(2013 and 2014) and Thompson Square, who won the trophy in 2012.

With four acts debuting
in the New Artist of the Year category (Ballerini, Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Stapleton),
Thomas Rhett is the only returning member of the group. Artists
can only be included in this category twice.

The Musician of the Year category includes Sam
Bush
(mandolin), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Paul
Franklin
(steel guitar), Dann Huff (guitar), and current
title holder Mac McAnally (guitar). 

The first “CMA Awards
Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast
on television for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music
awards program on network TV. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC
will be the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties,
“CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” and “CMA Country Christmas,” through 2021.

“The 49th Annual CMA
Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton
is the Executive Producer and Paul Miller is the Director. The
CMA Awards will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P),
ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

Fans can get more information on
“The 49th Annual CMA Awards” and sign up for CMA emails and exclusives, including a
full nominee recap, by visiting CMAawards.com.

The Final Nominees
for “The 49th Annual CMA Awards” (by ballot category order):

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Garth Brooks
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Eric Church
Miranda Lambert 

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

“American Kids”
Kenny Chesney
Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville 

“Girl Crush”
Little Big Town
Produced by Jay Joyce
Capitol Records Nashville 

“I Don’t Dance”
Lee Brice
Produced by Lee Brice
Curb Records 

“Take Your Time”
Sam Hunt
Produced Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally
MCA Nashville 

“Talladega”
Eric Church
Produced by Jay Joyce and Arturo Buenahora, Jr.
EMI Records Nashville 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

Old Boots, New DirtJason
Aldean

Produced
by Michael Knox

Broken Bow 

Pageant Material Kacey
Musgraves

Produced
by Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird, and Shane McAnally

Mercury Nashville 

Pain KillerLittle Big Town
Produced by Jay Joyce
Capitol Records Nashville 

The Big RevivalKenny
Chesney

Produced
by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney

Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville 

TravellerChris Stapleton
Produced by Dave Cobb and Chris
Stapleton

Mercury Nashville 

SONG OF THE YEAR(Award goes to Songwriter(s))

“American Kids”Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, and
Shane McAnally
 

“Girl Crush”Liz Rose, Lori McKenna, and Hillary
Lindsey
 

“Like a Cowboy”Randy Houser and Brice Long 

“Like a Wrecking Ball”Eric Church and Casey Beathard 

“Take Your Time”Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne 

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEARKelsea BalleriniMiranda LambertKacey MusgravesCarrie UnderwoodLee Ann Womack 

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEARDierks BentleyLuke BryanEric ChurchBlake SheltonChris Stapleton 

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEARLady AntebellumLittle Big TownRascal FlattsThe Band PerryZac Brown Band 

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEARBrothers OsborneDan + ShayFlorida Georgia LineMaddie & TaeThompson Square 

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR(Award goes to each artist)

Django and JimmieWillie Nelson and Merle HaggardLegacy Recordings

“Lonely Tonight”Blake Shelton featuring Ashley
Monroe
Warner Bros./Warner
Music Nashville
 

“Raise ‘Em Up”Keith Urban featuring Eric ChurchHit Red Records/Capitol Records
Nashville
 

“Smokin’ and Drinkin’”Miranda Lambert featuring Little
Big Town
RCA Nashville 

“Wild Child”Kenny Chesney with Grace PotterBlue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville 

MUSICIAN OF THE YEARSam Bush (Mandolin)Jerry Douglas (Dobro)Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)Dann Huff (Guitar)Mac McAnally (Guitar) 

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR“Biscuits”Kacey MusgravesDirected by Marc Klasfeld 

“Girl Crush”Little Big TownDirected by Karla Welch and Matthew Welch 

“Girl in a Country Song”Maddie & TaeDirected by TK McKamy 

“Little Red Wagon”Miranda LambertDirected by Trey Fanjoy 

“Something in the Water”Carrie UnderwoodDirected by Raj Kapoor

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEARKelsea BalleriniSam HuntMaddie & TaeThomas RhettChris Stapleton

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