Several superstars with Oklahoma ties will contend for fan-voted prizes at Monday's 2012 American Country Awards.
Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and her Pistol Annies, Rascal Flatts and Ronnie Dunn are among the nominees for the third annual ACAs.
The two-hour awards show will air live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas at 7 p.m. Monday on Fox. For the second year, multiplatinum country star Trace Adkins and Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, who hails from Broken Arrow, will co-host the two-hour broadcast, billed as the only country music awards show that gives fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite artists not only in traditional categories but also in a previously unrecognized area: touring.
A Song of the Year category also has been added to this year's ACAs in an effort to pay tribute to country music's top songwriters as well as its best performers. The nominees, who were determined by the Professional Songwriting Division of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, include former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn and Phillip Coleman for their anthem “Cost of Livin'.”
Norman resident Toby Keith also shares a Song of the Year nod with Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers, Brad Warren and Brett Warren, who wrote his smash party ditty “Red Solo Cup.” In addition, Keith is nominated for Artist of the Year: Male and Touring Artist of the Year.
Miranda Lambert, who lives in Tishomingo, is nominated for Artist of the Year: Female as well as Single of the Year: Female and Music Video of the Year: Female for her heartbreaking ode “Over You.” Plus, Lambert is nominated for Touring Artist of the Year and her trio Pistol Annies is nominated for Artist of the Year: New Artist.
Checotah native Carrie Underwood also is competing for Artist of the Year: Female as well as Single of the Year: Female and Music Video of the Year: Female for her raucous hit “Good Girl.” She and fellow country superstar Brad Paisley are vying for Single of the Year: Vocal Collaboration for their chart-topping duet “Remind Me.”
Rascal Flatts, which includes Picher-bred guitarist Joe Don Rooney, earned nods for Artist of the Year: Group, Single of the Year: Group for their tuneful hit “Banjo,” Touring Artist of the Year and Single of the Year: Vocal Collaboration for the mournful ballad “Easy” featuring British pop star Natasha Bedingfield.
Lambert's husband and fellow Tishomingo resident Blake Shelton is nominated for Album of the Year for “Red River Blue” as well as Music Video of the Year and Music Video of the Year: Male for his earnest love song “God Gave Me You.”
Online balloting for ACA Artist of the Year closes Friday. Fans can vote at www.theacas.com.
Luke Bryan leads the ACA contenders with seven nominations; Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band each earned six nods; and Eric Church and Taylor Swift garnered five nominations a piece.