Kenny Chesney leads Academy of Country Music nominees

Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:13am EST
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Kenny Chesney grabbed the lead with nine award nominations on Thursday from the Academy of Country Music, which hands out its prizes on April 1 in Las Vegas.

Jason Aldean was the runner-up with six nods and trio Lady Antebellum had five.

Chesney will have plenty of competition for the fan-voted Entertainer of the Year trophy from nominees Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and last year's winner Taylor Swift.

Fans can vote for entertainer of the year and new artist of the year beginning on March 19. Voting for the top prize continues through the third hour of the live broadcast of the 47th edition of the awards show.

One of the veteran performers on the list of nominees, Chesney also received his 10th nomination for top male vocalist.

Aldean, whose career has taken off in the past few years, received his second nominations for entertainer of the year and top male vocalist.

The trio of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, collectively known as Lady Antebellum, is up for vocal group of the year, an award they have won for two consecutive years.

Brad Paisley was nominated again for top male vocalist, which he has won every year since 2006.   Continued...

<p>Kenny Chesney performs during "A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation" at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California October 15, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>