Aldean, Shelton, Swift come up big at CMAs

Tue Sep 6, 2011 2:46pm EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift led with five nominations each for the Country Music Association awards on Tuesday, and will compete for the genre's top prize.

Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the annual CMA Awards for the fourth time on November 9, with the show to be broadcast live on ABC from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

Keith Urban was the fifth nominee for the top prize of Entertainer of the Year announced in Nashville and New York on ABC's "Good Morning America" show.

Aldean said he was sleeping when the nominations were announced, but his wife, Jessica, made sure he got the news.

"She just about gave me a heart attack," Aldean told Reuters. "She was so excited that I was up for (top) entertainer and male vocalist."

"Once I understood what she was saying I was like, 'Okay, cool.' I didn't realize that I had been nominated for the other awards until I started getting text messages congratulating me on the five nominations," he said.

Overall, the nominations were evenly spread among established artists such as Paisley and Swift and newcomers The Band Perry and Zac Brown.

In contrast to past years when the CMA seemed to heap nominations on breakout artists a year late, this year's nods to Aldean and Shelton appeared timely.   Continued...