Dust off your hat and boots, because it’s time for another country music awards show. After spring’s ACM and CMT Awards, the CMA Awards, the final of the three, announced their nominations on September 9. Chris Stapleton and Eric Church lead with five each, in all five of the same categories, no less: Entertainer, Album, Song, Single, and Male Vocalist of the Year. Stapleton is nominated for his 2020 album Starting Over and his song of the same name, while reigning Entertainer of the Year Church is nominated for Heart, part of a 2021 trilogy, and the song “Hell of a View,” off the companion album Soul. Elsewhere in the Album of the Year category, Morgan Wallen caught one nomination for Dangerous — the singer-songwriter’s first from a country awards body after he was caught on video saying the N-word. While earlier shows like the ACMs made Wallen ineligible, the CMAs decided Wallen would not be eligible in solo categories, like Male Vocalist of the Year, but would be eligible in other categories to recognize the producers, engineers, and writers who also worked on his music.
For the second time in two years, the top category of Entertainer of the Year features two women nominees, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, alongside Luke Combs as well. With three nominations, also for Female Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year (for “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” with Elle King), Lambert continues her run as the most-nominated woman in CMA history, and ties Brad Paisley for third-most nominations total. And the New Artist of the Year features a historic two Black nominees, Jimmie Allen, also nominated in 2020, and Mickey Guyton, nominated for the first time off her 2020 EP Bridges, ahead of her debut album, Remember Her Name. Other nominees include Ingrid Andress, Hardy, and Gabby Barrett — the latter of whom has four nominations total, also including in Single and Song of the Year for “The Good Ones.” Also notably, Brothers Osborne earned a nomination in Music Video of the Year for “Younger Me,” a song inspired by TJ Osborne’s coming out as gay earlier this year; the group is also up for Album and Vocal Duo of the Year. The show goes down live from Nashville on November 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.