Miranda Lambert in seven CMA races including three against fiance Blake Shelton
Miranda Lambert will contend in seven of the 12 categories at the upcoming 44th annual CMA Awards airing on ABC Nov. 10. Lambert's nominations include album, female vocalist, song, musical event and the big prize of entertainer of the year. Double nods in both single and music video of the year bring her nomination haul up to nine. In both of those races, her competition includes her beau Blake Shelton and the lovebirds also face off for best musical event. Shelton is also nominated for male vocalist.
By equaling the achievement of Merle Haggard back in 1970, Lambert established a new benchmark for nominations for a female artist. The overall record was set by Alan Jackson with 10 nominations in 2002.
Among Lambert's competition for the coveted title of entertainer of the year is the trio Lady Antebellum, which also contends for album, single, vocal group and music video. The Zac Brown Band is up for both the entertainer and new artist prizes, the first act to pull off this double play since Ricky Skaggs in 1982. The boys in the band also vie for vocal group and musical event.
The entertainer race also includes CMA co-host Brad Paisley, who contends as well for male vocalist (he has won the last three years) and video. Paisley’s bids this year push his career total to 52 and he jumps from No. 5 to No. 3 on the overall list ranking behind only Alan Jackson (79) and George Strait (81). Strait earned the latest two of that record haul this year with noms for male vocalist and album. In 27 years, Strait has only been shut out of CMA Awards nominations two times, in 1992 and 2006.
Filling out the entertainer of the year field is Keith Urban, who won the award five years ago. This top honor from the CMA tends to go to the performer who sells the most concert tickets and CDs. Urban is also up for male vocalist, which he took home for three years in a row beginning in 2004.
CMA co-host Carrie Underwood is nominated for album and female vocalist. She won the latter race for three years running beginning in 2006 but was bested last year by Taylor Swift who also won entertainer of the year, album and video. This year, Swift had to make do with just a single nomination for female vocalist. Also missing from the entertainer of the year slate of nominees is Kenny Chesney, who won this award four times in the last six years (2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008).
Tickets for the CMA Awards -- staged at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville -- go on sale Sept. 18.
Photo: Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton at the 2010 CMT Music Awards. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images