“The 45th Annual CMA Awards” Airs Nov. 9 on ABC

By Bob Doerschuk

September 6 was a morning of firsts as the names of CMA Awards nominees for 2011 were revealed live on ABC Television’s “Good Morning America” and at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

“GMA” unveiled its new set that day, relocated to street level so that passersby on Times Square got a close look at Jake Owen as he performed with his band and joined The Band Perry to announce the finalists in five of the Awards categories. And at the Ryman, where the rest of the nominations were revealed onstage by Jerrod Niemann and Thompson Square, Jack Greene, the inaugural winner of CMA’s Male Vocalist, Single and Album of the Year honors in 1967, presented those three trophies to CMA as a gesture of appreciation.

For The Band Perry and Thompson Square, it was also a day of surprises, as both received news of their own nominations at the New York and Nashville announcements respectively. And for “GMA” viewers and those on site at the Ryman, a picture quickly took shape of how this year’s Awards would play out.

If any single word could characterize the 2011 Awards, it would be “competitive.” First-time nominees made their presence known in 12 CMA Awards categories, including Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album, Vocal Duo, Single, Song, Music Video, Musical Event, Musician and New Artist. No one artist ran way ahead of the rest in terms of how many nominations they received. Indeed, four of them tied for first place in this tabulation with five each.

• Jason Aldean earned nominations for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album for My Kinda Party and Single and Musical Event of the Year, for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson.

• Defending Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley made the finals for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album for This Is Country Music and Musical Event and Music Video for “Old Alabama” (featuring Alabama, members of CMA’s Country Music Hall of Fame). These raise Paisley’s total career nominations to 57, placing him in third place on the all-time list behind George Strait (81) and Alan Jackson (80).

• Five nominations went as well to reigning Male Vocalist Blake Shelton, who is in contention for Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album for All About Tonight and Single and Music Video for “Honey Bee.”

• Taylor Swift also garnered five nominations, for Entertainer, Female Vocalist, Album for Speak Now and Song and Music Video for “Mean.” And if she wins for Album of the Year, Swift will also receive a trophy as producer.

That’s not all. Two more acts are close behind with four nominations each. The Band Perry is up for Vocal Group, New Artist and Single and Music Video for “If I Die Young.” And Zac Brown Band made the finals in categories for Vocal Group, Album for You Get What You Give, Musical Event for “As She’s Walking Away” with Alan Jackson and Single of the Year for “Colder Weather.”

All CMA Awards finalists were featured on “CMT Insider Special Edition: 2011 CMA Awards Nominations,” which included in-depth coverage of all the nominations, artist interviews and more. The 30-minute special premiered Wednesday, Sept. 7, and re-aired Saturday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 11. Additional preview coverage was offered in “CMA Close Up Presents Road to the CMA Awards,” a half-hour special packed with artist interviews and highlights from past interviews, airing on local ABC affiliates from Oct. 28 through Nov. 9.

The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by the 6,400 industry professional members of CMA, which was the first trade organization formed to promote an individual genre of music in 1958. The first CMA Awards Banquet and Show was held in 1967 at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. The following year, the CMA Awards moved to the Ryman Auditorium and was broadcast on NBC television for the first time — making it the longest-running annual music awards program on network television. The show aired on NBC through 1971 and on the CBS Television Network from 1972 through 2005 before moving to ABC in 2006.

Winners of “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” are 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 45th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for the fourth consecutive year and broadcasted live on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7-10 PM/CT) on the ABC Television Network.

“The 45th 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. Premiere Radio Networks is the official radio packager of the CMA Awards. Chevrolet is a Proud Partner of the CMA Awards and Official Ride of Country Music. CMA is a Proud Supporter of DRIVE4COPD.

Text CMAINFO to 66937 to join the CMA Mob. Visit CMAawards.com for information on Awards nominees and past winners, highlights, games, merchandise and more, and to sign up for CMA Exclusive.

On the Web: www.CMAawards.com

Source: Country Music Association

About The Photo: ABC’s Robin Roberts hosted as Jake Owen and Reid, Kimberly and Neil Perry of The Band Perry announced CMA Awards nominees in five categories Sept. 6 on “Good Morning America.”

Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC / Provided by Country Music Association

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