Online voting begins today for the Academy of Country Music Awards’ top honor, entertainer of the year.The nominees are Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Keith Urban and trio Rascal Flatts, which includes guitarist Joe Don Rooney of Picher. Fans can go online to http://www.voteacm.com/ to cast their vote.
The Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at 7 p.m. May 18 on CBS. All five nominees will perform during the show, along with Carrie Underwood (who hails from Checotah), Brooks & Dunn (which includes Tulsan Ronnie Dunn), Miranda Lambert (who lives in Tishomingo), Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland and Taylor Swift.
On May 18, fans will be able to vote for entertainer of the year on both http://www.voteacm.com/ and http://www.cbs.com/, according to a news release. It is the first time the academy has given country music fans the chance to vote on the top award.
Rascal Flatts also is nominated for top vocal group, which the trio has won the past five straight years. If the band wins the title for the sixth time, it will tie the record held by Alabama. Rascal Flatts will receive the Academy of Country Music/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award during the show, too.
Chesney has a leading 11 ACM nominations, including entertainer of the year and top male vocalist. He was nominated as an artist and producer for album of the year for “Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates,” single record of the year, song of the year and video of the year for “Don’t Blink.”
If Chesney wins entertainer of the year, it will be his fourth consecutive win.
Also, Chesney and special guest LeAnn Rimes will play at the Ford Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday
Paisley, the reigning ACM top male vocalist, is nominated in four categories, including entertainer of the year, top male vocalist, album of the year for “5th Gear” and video of the year for “Online.”
Strait garnered nominations for entertainer of the year, top male vocalist and vocal event of the year for “Shiftwork” with Chesney.
Urban is nominated for entertainer of the year and top male vocalist.
A version of this post was published on NewsOK and is set for May 2 publication in The Oklahoman.