Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley lead ACM Awards nominations

Miranda Lambert leads the field of nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards

Miranda Lambert topped the field as nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards were announced Friday.

Lambert received eight nods including entertainer of the year, and Dierks Bentley was close on her boot heels with seven nominations. Party-minded country duo Florida Georgia Line was  next with five nominations for the awards scheduled to be handed out April 19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas -- a shift from the ceremony's usual site in Las Vegas to celebrate this year’s 50th-anniversary event.

In the running for the ACM’s top award of entertainer of the year with Lambert and Florida Georgia Line were Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Garth Brooks, the latter having returned to touring for the first time in 17 years now that his daughters have gone off to college.

Lambert, nominated for the entertainer honor for the fourth time, also received her ninth consecutive female vocalist nomination, a category in which she’s vying with Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and relative newcomers Kacey Musgraves and Brandy Clark. Lambert and Underwood are also nominated for the video and vocal event awards for their hit collaboration “Somethin’ Bad.”

Lambert’s “Platinum” is in the running for album of the year along with Aldean’s “Old Boots, New Dirt,” Bentley’s “Riser,” Little Big Town’s “Pain Killer” and Eric Church’s “The Outsiders.”

Song of the year nominations, which recognize songwriters, went to Lambert’s  “Automatic,” which whe wrote with Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hembley; “American Kids,” the Kenny Chesney hit written by Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird and Shane McAnally; Jim Beavers' and Chris Stapleton’s “Drink a Beer,” a hit for Luke Bryan; Musgraves’ breakthrough hit “Follow Your Arrow,” which she wrote with Clark and McAnally; Church's and Laird’s “Give Me Back My Hometown,” and Bentley’s “I Hold On,” a song he wrote with Brett James.

Male vocalist nominees were Aldean, Bentley, Bryan, Church, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton.

Bryan, Chesney and Church each collected four nominations.

The award ceremony is to be hosted for the third time by the tag team of Bryan and Shelton (who cohosted twice previously with Reba McEntire) and televised live on CBS, except for the West Coast, where it will be tape-delayed for prime time.

The show has been alloted an extra 30 minutes this year for the 50th-anniversary event, extending the running time to 3 1/2 hours.

The full list of nominations can be found at the ACM’s official website.

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