September 9th, 2009
04:55 PM ET
Nominations for "The 43rd Annual CMA Awards" were announced this morning, and not surprisingly, there were multiple nods for Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, George Strait and Kenny Chesney. All four men will vie for "Entertainer of the Year" with 19-year-old country cutie/singer-songwriter phenom Taylor Swift, who becomes the first solo female artist to be nominated in the top category since Faith Hill in 2000.
"I am jumping up and down surrounded by dogs and my mom screaming like it's Christmas morning," Swift twittered shortly after the announcement. "I'll never forget this." The young chart-topper notched four nominations - tying Urban, Strait, Zac Brown and Jamey Johnson. Only Paisley earned more, with six.
Darius Rucker - who gained fame as the frontman for the roots rock band Hootie and the Blowfish before launching a solo career in country music - becomes the first African-American to be nominated for "Male Vocalist of the Year" since Charley Pride took the honor in 1972. The South Carolina native was also acknowledged as a nominee for "New Artist of the Year," along with Johnson, the Zac Brown Band, Randy Houser and Jake Owen. "Everything with this record has been really wild, and this really caps the year we've had with these two nominations," Rucker said in a statement.
The Eagles join Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and the Zac Brown Band as contenders for "Vocal Group of the Year," marking the legendary country-rock band's first CMA nod in 32 years. And although Sugarland snatched the trophy for "Vocal Duo of the Year" from Brooks and Dunn in 2007 and 2008, B and D are going to be tough to beat this year - especially on the heels of the announcement that they're calling it quits after a two decade musical partnership. If they win, it'll be their 15th walk to the podium to accept the CMA award for "Duo."
Indie rock fans will be tickled to learn that Jack White and his band, The Raconteurs, are also up for a prize...this one for "Musical Event of the Year" for their collaboration with newcomer Ashley Monroe and bluegrass icon Ricky Skaggs on a track called "Old Enough."
Hosted by Paisley and Carrie Underwood (who's a double nominee this year), "The 43rd Annual CMA Awards" will air live from the Sommet Center in Nashville on November 11. Black tie and cowboy hats optional.
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