Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kenny Chesney Leads Country Nominations

Singer Kenny Chesney is leading the way at the 43rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards with 11 nominations, including entertainer of the year.
The star is also up for top male vocalist, song and video of the year for Don't Blink.

If Chesney gets entertainer of the year - the most coveted trophy - it will be his fourth straight win.

For the first time, fans can vote for the winner of the entertainer gong. The show takes place in Las Vegas in May.

Chesney's other nominations included two nods in the album of the year category for singing and producing Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.
He also received two nominations for single record of the year for singing and producing Don't Blink.

"I just try to be the kinda artist I wanted to see when I was coming up," he said.

"To me, if you remember who you are, sing songs that speak to that and pay attention to the fans, that's all I can hope for. Seeing those people every night, I don't think I could do anything less."

Chesney, the former husband of actress Renee Zellweger, also received a double nomination for singing and producing Shift Work in the vocal event of the year category.

In the same category, his work with Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw on Find Out Who Your Friends Are also made the shortlist.

'Big leagues'

Rodney Atkins received six nominations, including top male vocalist.

"It's amazing to have your name mentioned with these guys like George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley," he said. "It's going to take a while to sink in."

Atkins's other nominations included song of the year and video of the year for Watching You and album of the year for If You're Going through Hell, which he also co-produced.

"It's nice to be noticed, kind of like getting to step into the big leagues. It's what you always hope for," he added.

Brad Paisley, Big & Rich and Sugarland all received four nominations each.

Kenny Chesney was showedwith 11 nominations when the contenders for the Academy of Country Music Awards were announced on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Rodney Atkins was second with six nominations, followed by Brad Paisley with four as an individual and Big & Rich and Sugarland with four each as duos. Along with the nominations, announced in Nashville, came word that for the first time fans will choose the winner of the entertainer of the year prize. Voting will begin May 5; the awards will be presented on May 18 in a program to be telecast on CBS from Las Vegas.

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