Brad Paisley leads all finalists for the Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations, but the biggest surprise might be former Trick Pony singer Heidi Newfield’s five nods.
Paisley was nominated Wednesday for entertainer of the year and male vocalist, an honor he won last year. He’s also a finalist for record, song and video of the year for “Waitin’ on a Woman,” and for vocal event of the year for “Start a Band” with Keith Urban.
Newfield released her solo debut, “What Am I Waiting For,” last August after 10 years with Trick Pony. She’s nominated in five categories, including song of the year and video of the year for “Johnny & June,” an ode to the late Johnny and June Carter Cash.
The Academy of Country Music Awards air on CBS from Las Vegas on April 5.
Kenny Chesney, the ACM’s entertainer of the year four years running, received four nominations, including another in the coveted entertainer category. A fifth straight win would tie him with Alabama for the most consecutive entertainer trophies.