Eric Church leads ACM Awards nominations with 7

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm •  Published: February 13, 2013
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"Chief," released in 2011, slipped through a loophole and into the category for the second straight year. Academy rules allow an album to be nominated outside its usual qualification period if it did the bulk of its sales during the next opening. The album reached platinum last year and currently sits at more than 1.3 million copies sold.

That album's inclusion may have cost Zac Brown Band's "Uncaged" a nomination just three days after the band took home the Grammy for best country album. Another potential nominee left off the list was Brad Paisley, who had been nominated every year since 1999.

Church also is up for male vocalist of the year with 2012 winner Shelton, Bryan, Aldean and Toby Keith. Lambert will be going for her fourth straight female vocalist of the year award with Swift, Underwood, Martina McBride and Kacey Musgraves, a newcomer who earned four nominations.

Others with four nominations include Bryan and Little Big Town. That quartet is up for vocal group of the year with Lady Antebellum, which has won the award three straight times, Zac Brown Band, Eli Young Band and The Band Perry.

Surprise 2012 vocal duo winner Thompson Square is nominated in that category again along with Sugarland, Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, and Love and Theft.

Church also is nominated in the song and single of the year categories for "Springsteen." Lambert's "Over You," Hayes' "Wanted," Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" and Lee Brice's "A Woman Like You" round out the song of the year category.

Lambert, EYB and Hayes join Church in the single of the year category with LBT's "Pontoon."

Like Hayes, the idea of family was on Lambert's mind. She wrote "Over You" with Shelton. It's a song Shelton's late father encouraged him to write about his brother, who died young.

"What an exciting day!" Lambert wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Country music is a family and we're gonna have a big reunion in Las Vegas for the ACM Awards. I'm blessed every day and thrilled to be nominated, and it's extra special to be nominated with Blake for song of the year."

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Online:

http://acmcountry.com

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Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott .



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