Exclusive: Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan Announce the 46th Annual CMA Awards Nominees

Jozie Schroder for CelebSecrets4U

Eric Church tops the list of final nominees for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” with five nominations. The reigning CMA Female and Male Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton each received four nominations. Jason AldeanDierks BentleyKenny Chesney, Little Big Town, and Taylor Swift each received three nominations for Country Music’s Biggest Night™.

“The depth and variety of talent represented by this year’s nominees is outstanding,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “From Country Music legends, to cross-format favorites, to current superstars, and an exciting crop of artists who have jumped to that next level – the 2012 CMA Awards are going to be an exciting evening of entertainment for any fan of great music and memorable performances.”

“The 46th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted for the fifth time by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Thursday, Nov. 1 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

For the seventh year, the announcement of the final nominees in five of the 12 CMA Awards categories was made live on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” with Aldean and Luke Bryandelivering the news from the heart of New York City’s Times Square. They then dashed to nearby B.B. King Blues Club and Grill to announce the finalists in the remaining seven categories during a press conference that was made available across the world via live stream at CMAworld.com.

“It was terrific to be able to announce our nominees for Country Music’s top honor on the world’s biggest stage and be able to share it with the industry and fans,” Moore said.

Church received his first CMA Awards nomination last year for New Artist of the Year. A year later, he tops the list of nominees with five including Male Vocalist; Album for Chief, which was produced by Jay Joyce; Single of the Year for “Springsteen,” also produced by Joyce; Song of the Year for “Springsteen,” written by Church, Ryan Tyndell, and Jeff Hyde, a member of Church’s band; and Music Video of the Year for “Springsteen,” directed by Peter Zavadil.

Lambert and Shelton were close behind with four nominations each, including a shared nomination for Song of the Year for “Over You.” Only a handful of married couples have penned Song of the Year nominees including “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” by Ed and Patsy Bruce (1978), and two songs by Sanger D. “Whitey” Shafer: “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” with his third wife Darlene Shafer in 1985, and “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” with his fourth wife Lyndia Shafer in 1987. Tammy Wynette and George Richey wrote “’Til I Can Make It On My Own” with Billy Sherrill, which was nominated for Song of the Year in 1976, but they did not marry until 1978.

Lambert, the reigning CMA Female Vocalist was also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year; Album of the Year for Four The Record, produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, andGlenn Worf; and Music Video of the Year for “Over You,” directed by Trey Fanjoy.

In addition to Song of the Year, Shelton, the reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, picked up nominations for Entertainer of the Year; Male Vocalist of the Year; and Single of the Year for “God Gave Me You,” produced by Scott Hendricks. Popular singer/songwriter Dave Barnes received a Song of the Year nomination for writing “God Gave Me You.”

Aldean holds the current title for CMA Album of the Year for My Kinda Party and Musical Event of the Year for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson. This year, he picked up nominations for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, and Single of the Year for “Dirt Road Anthem,” produced by Michael Knox.

There was no place like Home for Bentley. He received three nominations for Album of the Year for Home, produced by Brett Beavers, Luke Wooten, and Jon Randall Stewart; Single of the Year for “Home,” produced by Beavers and Wooten; and Song of the Year for “Home,” written by Bentley, Beavers, and Dan Wilson, lead singer of Semisonic.

Chesney, who is the reigning CMA Award winner for Music Video of the Year for “You and Tequila” with Grace Potter, picked up three nominations in 2012 for Entertainer of the Year; Musical Event of the Year for “Feel Like A Rock Star” a duet with Tim McGraw; and Music Video of the Year for “Come Over,” directed by Shaun Silva. If Chesney wins Entertainer of the Year, he’ll take the record for the most wins in the category. Chesney is currently tied with Garth Brooks winning the trophy four times in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Little Big Town made a splash with “Pontoon” in 2012. The popular group was nominated for Vocal Group of the Year in addition to capturing nominations for Music Video and Single of the Year for “Pontoon,” directed by Declan Whitebloom and produced by Jay Joyce respectively. Joyce has produced albums by a diverse roster of artists including Audio Adrenaline, Cage the Elephant, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, The Wallflowers, and The Whigs.

Swift, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, was nominated in the top category again in 2012 in addition to nominations for Female Vocalist and Musical Event of the Year for “Safe & Sound” featuring The Civil Wars. Swift won her first of seven CMA trophies in 2007 with the Horizon Award.

Paisley rounds out the Entertainer of the Year category. Paisley’s nominations keep him third on the list of artists with the most career nominations in CMA Awards history. He has been nominated every year since 2000 and has now amassed an incredible 58 nominations.

Clarkson, who shares the current CMA trophy for Musical Event of the Year with Aldean, makes her debut in the Female Vocalist of the Year category in 2012. Clarkson has a previous nomination for Musical Event of the Year with Reba McEntire for “Because of You” in 2007.

CMA Awards co-host Underwood received her seventh nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year. Underwood won Female Vocalist in 2006, 2007, and 2008. If Underwood wins the Female Vocalist of the Year trophy again, it will tie her with Martina McBride (1999, 2002-2004) and Reba McEntire (1984-1987) for most wins in this category. McBride is nominated in the category again in 2012, with Clarkson, Lambert, Swift, and Underwood.

Church was not the only artist making his debut in the Male Vocalist category. Bryan enters the elite list for the first time in 2012. Bryan also picked up a second nomination for Album of the Year for tailgates & tanlines, produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright.

Keith Urban, completes the Male Vocalist of the Year category. Urban won the trophy three times (2004, 2005, and 2006).

New to the Vocal Group of the Year category with their first CMA Awards nomination is the Eli Young Band. Rounding out the list of nominees are The Band Perry, who received their first CMA Awards in 2011 for New Artist of the Year and Single and Song of the Year for “If I Die Young,” written by Kimberly Perry; Little Big Town; Zac Brown Band; and Lady Antebellum, the reigning Vocal Group of the Year for the past three consecutive years.

Lady Antebellum is also nominated for Album of the Year for Own The Night, which the group produced with Paul Worley making them eligible to receive a second trophy for producing the nominated record.

Ten-time CMA Awards nominees Big & Rich are back in the Vocal Duo of the Year Category in 2012. Joining them on the list are first-time nominee Love and Theft, who are also nominated in the New Artist of the Year category; Sugarland, who have claimed the trophy five times (2007-2011); The Civil Wars, and Thompson Square, who each debuted in the category in 2011.

Thompson Square is also nominated for New Artist of the Year. They received their first nomination in the category in 2011. In addition to Love and Theft there are several new faces in the category including Brantley GilbertHunter Hayes, and Lee Brice, who announced the CMA Broadcast Award finalists at a CMA membership breakfast today in Nashville. Artists can only be included in this category two times.

Receiving his 28th career nomination in 2012 was Toby Keith for the Music Video of the Year for the party anthem “Red Solo Cup,” which was directed by Michael Saloman.

The Song of the Year trophy is presented to and celebrates the songwriters. Nominees in addition to those previously mentioned include “Even if It Breaks Your Heart” by Will Hoge andEric Paslay (recorded by Eli Young Band). The song was the first No. 1 for Hoge, who is a solo artist in his own right. Paslay also has a blossoming solo career and has penned songs for Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, and Love and Theft. This is their first CMA Awards nomination.

The Musical Event of the Year category always provides an eclectic mix of talent and unique collaborations and 2012 was no exception. In addition to the nominations for Chesney and Swift,Alan Jackson and Zac Brown were nominated for “Dixie Highway”; Willie Nelson, Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg), Kris Kristofferson, and Jamey Johnson received a nomination for “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die”; and Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker were nominated for “Stuck On You.”

Jackson’s nomination ties him with George Strait for the most career CMA Awards nominations with 81 each.

These were the first nominations for Snoop Lion and Richie. Kristofferson was last nominated in 1991 for Vocal Event of the Year for “Highwaymen” with Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings. Nelson now has a career total of 45 CMA Awards nominations. His most recent was in 2005 For Vocal Event of the Year with Lee Ann Womack for “I’ll Never Be Free.”

The Musician of the Year category included Sam Bush (mandolin), who was nominated in the category for the first time in 2011, along with Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Dann Huff (guitar),Brent Mason (guitar), and the current title holder Mac McAnally (guitar).

The 2011 CMA Awards was the No. 1 entertainment show for the week among the key advertising Adults 18-49 sales demographic. The special beat its nearest competition by 5.6 million viewers and by 26 percent in Adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.

Held during November Sweeps (Nov. 9), “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” on ABC dominated the night winning all six of its half-hours in total viewers and Adults 18-49.

With a primetime sweep, ABC finished No. 1 on Wednesday in Viewers across all key demos including Adult, Men, and Women (18-34/18-49/25-54), as well as finishing as the top broadcaster with Teens (12-17). In Total Viewers (16.4 million; 17.49 Live+7) and Adults 18-49 (4.8/13; 5.2/14 Live+7) it was ABC’s strongest Wednesday in two years with an estimated 35 million viewers watching at least some portion of the three-hour live gala.

Winners of “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting members of the Country Music Association. CMA Awards balloting is officiated by the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Thursday, Oct. 4. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Monday, Oct. 22(5:00 PM/CT).

The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by the 11,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was formed in 1958 as the first trade organization to promote an individual genre of music. The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast on NBC television for the first time – making it the longest-running annual music awards program on network television. The Awards aired on NBC through 1971 and on the CBS Television Network from 1972 through 2005. The CMA Awards moved to ABC in 2006, where it will remain through 2021.

A video highlights package including footage of the nominee announcements, interviews, music video clips, and more will be serviced today, Sept. 5 (3:00-3:30 PM/ET).

The video highlights  package will be available via satellite at Galaxy 17 (KU) Digital – Transponder 19 – ChA – 9 MHz – Downlink Frequency: 12066.5 (H)- FEC:  ¾ – Symbol Rate:  6.1113. In addition, the video highlights package will be available via FTP download at ftp.magnosound.com; USERNAME: cmaawards; PASSWORD: nominations.

If you have difficulty picking up the video highlights package or have questions about the feed, please contact Scott Sklarin with Sklarin Communications at (917) 992-0920 or (917) 929-5564; or Dawn Copley at CMA (615) 664-1628, or by e-mail at dcopley@CMAworld.com. For questions regarding the FTP download, please call (212) 302-2505, ext. 0.

Tickets for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” go on sale to the public Saturday, Sept. 29 (10:00 AM/CT). Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or Ticketmaster outlets; by calling (800) 745-3000; or at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office, located at 501 Broadway (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, Nashville). Ticket prices for the CMA Awards start at $110 for Upper Level seating. Ticket prices include tax, but exclude applicable service fees. Purchase tickets early for the best available seats. The CMA Awards have sold out in advance the past three years.

“The 46th Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer, Paul Miller is the Director, and David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

The Final Nominees for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” (by ballot category order):


Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

Blake Shelton

Taylor Swift


Single of the Year

(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))

“Dirt Road Anthem”

Jason Aldean

Produced by Michael Knox

Broken Bow Records


“God Gave Me You”

Blake Shelton

Produced by Scott Hendricks

Warner Bros. Records



Dierks Bentley

Produced by Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten

Capitol Records Nashville



Little Big Town

Produced by Jay Joyce

Capitol Records Nashville



Eric Church

Produced by Jay Joyce

EMI Records Nashville


Album of the Year

(Award goes to Artist and Producer(s))


Eric Church

Produced by Jay Joyce

EMI Records Nashville


Four The Record

Miranda Lambert

Produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf

RCA Nashville



Dierks Bentley

Produced by Brett Beavers, Luke Wooten, and Jon Randall Stewart

Capitol Records Nashville


Own The Night

Lady Antebellum

Produced by Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

Capitol Records Nashville


tailgates & tanlines

Luke Bryan

Produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright

Capitol Records Nashville


Song of the Year

(Award goes to Songwriter(s))

“Even If It Breaks Your Heart”

Will Hoge and Eric Paslay


“God Gave Me You”

Dave Barnes



Dan Wilson, Brett Beavers, and Dierks Bentley


“Over You”

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton


Song of the Year (Cont.)


Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell, and Jeff Hyde


Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelly Clarkson

Miranda Lambert

Martina McBride

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood


Male Vocalist of the Year

Jason Aldean

Luke Bryan

Eric Church

Blake Shelton

Keith Urban


Vocal Group of the Year

Eli Young Band

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

The Band Perry

Zac Brown Band


Vocal Duo of the Year

Big & Rich

Love and Theft


The Civil Wars

Thompson Square


Musical Event of the Year

(Award goes to each Artist)

“Dixie Highway”

Alan Jackson featuring Zac Brown

ACR/EMI Records Nashville


“Feel Like A Rock Star”

Kenny Chesney (duet with Tim McGraw)

Blue Chair Records/Columbia Nashville


Musical Event of the Year (Cont.)

“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”

Willie Nelson with Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, and Jamey Johnson

Legacy Recordings


“Safe & Sound”

Taylor Swift (featuring The Civil Wars)

Big Machine Records/Universal Republic Records


“Stuck On You”

Lionel Richie (with Darius Rucker)

Mercury Records Nashville


Musician of the Year

Sam Bush – Mandolin

Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar

Dann Huff – Guitar

Brent Mason – Guitar

Mac McAnally – Guitar


Music Video of the Year

(Award goes to Artist and Director)

“Come Over”

Kenny Chesney

Directed by Shaun Silva


“Over You”

Miranda Lambert

Directed by Trey Fanjoy



Little Big Town

Directed by Declan Whitebloom


“Red Solo Cup”

Toby Keith

Directed by Michael Salomon



Eric Church

Directed by Peter Zavadil


New Artist of the Year

Lee Brice

Brantley Gilbert

Hunter Hayes

Love and Theft

Thompson Square


Chevrolet™ is the Official Ride of Country Music. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the CMA Awards.

We were the ONLY teen music outlet that was at B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill to see Jason and Luke announce the nominees LIVE… Check out our photos and video below.

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.