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ACM Awards 2018: Chris Stapleton leads in nominations, Reba returns as host

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ACM Awards Nominations

FILE - In this July 18, 2017, file photo, Chris Stapleton performs on NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Stapleton leads the Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nominations, including entertainer of the year, announced Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Stapleton, who released two top-selling albums last year, leads the Academy of Country Music Awards with eight nominations, including his first entertainer of the year nomination.

Reba McEntire announced the nominations Thursday on "CBS This Morning" as well as her return as host for a record 15th year. The show will air April 15 from Las Vegas on CBS.

Thomas Rhett earned six nominations, Keith Urban had five nominations, and songwriter and producer Shane McAnally had five nods. Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris had four nominations each. The top category of entertainer of the year was an all-male line-up.

McEntire, who recently took on the role as the first female Colonel Sanders for KFC advertisements, has hosted the awards show more than anyone, dating back to 1986. She has co-hosted the show with Hank Williams Jr., Alan Jackson and Blake Shelton, and hosted solo for several years. McEntire is also nominated for female vocalist of the year.

Stapleton is nominated twice as an artist and producer for album of the year for his "From A Room: Volume 1" and single record of the year for "Broken Halos." He's also nominated as artist and songwriter in the song of the year category for "Whiskey and You." He is also nominated for male vocalist of the year.

Rhett's nominations include album of the year for "Life Changes" and male vocalist of the year, which he won last year. He is also nominated for vocal event of the year with Morris for their duet "Craving You" and music video of the year.

Rhett, who has two daughters with his wife Lauren including his youngest Ada who was born last year, woke up to a flurry of text messages Thursday, but otherwise it was a typical morning for the family.

"I got Ada out of her bed and told Lauren that I had six nominations and she said 'Congrats babe' and then we went and changed a diaper," Rhett said.

Rhett said he was surprised to have won male vocalist last year, so he was grateful to see his name in the category again this year, alongside Aldean, Stapleton, Urban and Chris Young.

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ACM Awards Nominations

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2017, file photo, Country music singer Thomas Rhett performs, accompanied by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders during half time of an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. For the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, some of the top nominees included Rhett with six nominations and Keith Urban with five nods. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)

"I have been off the road since November, just trying to take a break and figure out this whole dad thing," Rhett said. "So there was a time there I was like, 'I think the world is just forgetting who I am.' So to have these nominations was a nice surprise during an off-season for me."

Urban earned nominations in the categories of male vocalist, song of the year for his song "Female" and vocal event of the year.

Lambert, a perennial favorite at the ACMs, is the current record holder for most consecutive wins in the female vocalist of the year category and is currently tied with Brooks and Dunn as artists with the most awards in ACM history with 29 wins each. Lambert is nominated in female vocalist, song of the year and video of the year categories.

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ACM Awards Nominations

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Keith Urban performs at 2017 CMT Artist of the Year Awards at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn. For the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, some of the top nominees included Thomas Rhett with six nominations and Urban with five nods. (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

The full list of nominees:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Jason Aldean
  • Garth Brooks
  • Luke Bryan
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Reba McEntire
  • Maren Morris
  • Carrie Underwood
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ACM Awards Nominations

FILE - In this April 2, 2017, file photo, Miranda Lambert performs "Tin Man" at the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Lambert and Maren Morris had four nominations each for the Academy of Country Music Awards announced Thursday, March 1, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Jason Aldean
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban
  • Chris Young

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR

  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • LOCASH
  • Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

  • Lady Antebellum
  • LANCO
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion

NEW FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Lauren Alaina
  • Danielle Bradbery
  • Carly Pearce
  • Raelynn

NEW MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Kane Brown
  • Luke Combs
  • Devin Dawson
  • Russell Dickerson
  • Brett Young

NEW VOCAL DUO OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

  • High Valley
  • LANCO
  • LOCASH
  • Midland
  • Runaway June

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

(Awarded to artist/producer/record company–label)

  • The Breaker - Little Big Town
    • Producer: Jay Joyce
    • Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
  • California Sunrise - Jon Pardi
    • Producers: Bart Butler, Jon Pardi
    • Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
  • From A Room: Volume 1 - Chris Stapleton
    • Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    • Record Label: Mercury Records
  • Happy Endings - Old Dominion
    • Producer: Shane McAnally
    • Record Label: RCA
  • Life Changes - Thomas Rhett
    • Producers: Julian Bunetta, Jesse Frasure, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett
    • Record Label: The Valory Music Co.

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR

(Awarded to artist/producer/record company–label)

  • Better Man - Little Big Town
    • Producer: Jay Joyce
    • Record Label: Capitol Records Nashville
  • Body Like A Back Road - Sam Hunt
    • Producer: Zach Crowell
    • Record Label: MCA Nashville
  • Broken Halos - Chris Stapleton
    • Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    • Record Label: Mercury Records
  • Drinkin’ Problem - Midland
    • Producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
    • Record Label: Big Machine Records
  • I’ll Name The Dogs - Blake Shelton
    • Producer: Scott Hendricks
    • Record Label: Warner Bros.

SONG OF THE YEAR

(Awarded to songwriter/publisher/artist)

  • Body Like a Back Road - Sam Hunt
    • Songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
    • Publishers: Universal Music Corp./Sam Hunt Publishing, Highly Combustible Music/I Love Pizza Music,/Songs of Southside Independent Music Publishing/Who Wants to Buy My Publishing/Atlas Music Publishing, Anderson Fork In The Road Music/Smackville Music/Smack Songs LLC, Smack Hits
  • Female - Keith Urban
    • Songwriters: Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon and Shane McAnally
    • Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music Inc./Rezolant Music/Plain Jane Songs, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./A Girl Named Charlie (BMI), Smack Hits/Smack Songs LLC (GMR)
  • Tin Man - Miranda Lambert
    • Songwriters: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert Jon Randall
    • Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing/Pink Dog Publishing (BMI), Beat Up Ford Publishing (BMI), BMG Platinum Songs (BMI)/SWMBMGBMI/Lonesome Vinyl Music
  • Whiskey And You - Chris Stapleton
    • Songwriters: Lee Thomas Miller, Chris Stapleton
    • Publishers: WB Music Corp./New Sea Gayle Music (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./New Sea Gayle Music (BMI)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

(Awarded to producer/director/artist)

  • Black - Dierks Bentley
    • Director: Wes Edwards
    • Producer: Max A. Butler
  • It Ain’t My Fault - Brothers Osborne
    • Director: Wes Edwards, Ryan Silver
    • Producer: Tiffany Davies
  • Legends - Kelsea Ballerini
    • Director: Jeff Venable
    • Producer: Ben Skipworth
  • Marry Me - Thomas Rhett
    • Director: TK McKamy
    • Producer: Dan Atchison
  • We Should Be Friends - Miranda Lambert
    • Director: Trey Fanjoy
    • Producer: April Dace

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

(Off Camera Award)

  • Rhett Akins
  • Ashley Gorley
  • Hillary Lindsey
  • Shane McAnally
  • Josh Osborne

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR

(Awarded to artist/producer/record company–label)

  • Craving You – Thomas Rhett Featuring Maren Morris
    • Producers: Julian Bunetta, Dann Huff, Joe London, Thomas Rhett
    • Record Label: The Valory Music Co.
  • Dear Hate – Maren Morris featuring Vince Gill
    • Producers: Brad Hill, Maren Morris
    • Record Label: Columbia Nashville
  • Funny (How Time Slips Away) - Glen Campbell And Willie Nelson
    • Producer: Carl Jackson
    • Record Label: Universal Music Enterprises
  • The Fighter – Keith Urban featuring Carrie Underwood
    • Producers: Busbee, Keith Urban
    • Record Label: Capitol Nashville
  • What Ifs – Kane Brown Featuring Lauren Alaina
    • Producer: Dann Huff
    • Record Label: RCA Nashville

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For full coverage of awards season, visit: apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason

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