Country fans have the power, for the first time, to vote for the Entertainer of the Year award, which will be announced at the 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 18.
Beginning on Thursday, May 1, fans can log onto http://www.voteacm.com to vote for nominees Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Keith Urban or Rascal Flatts. On May 18, fans will be able to cast their votes on http://www.cbs.com as well as http://www.voteacm.com.
Each of the five nominees in the category are scheduled to perform on the live broadcast, joining previously announced performers Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Brooks & Dunn, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Also, as previously announced, country music superstar Reba McEntire returns to host the show for the 10th time. Additional performers and a list of presenters will be announced shortly.
Chesney has 11 nominations, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. In addition, he was nominated as an artist and producer for Album of the Year for Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, Single Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year for "Don't Blink." If Chesney wins Entertainer of the Year, this will be his fourth consecutive win.
Paisley is nominated in four categories, including Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist, Album of the Year for 5th Gear and Video of the Year for "Online." Last year, he won Top Male Vocalist. Paisley recently celebrated his 10th Number One single, 10 million album sales and 10 years as an Arista Nashville recording artist.
Strait received nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Top Male Vocalist and Vocal Event of the Year for "Shiftwork" with Kenny Chesney. He has more Number One hits in a single chart format than any other recording artist. Strait's 37th album, Troubadour, debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart.
Urban is nominated both as Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. His most recent album, Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing, has already sold more than two million copies worldwide and came in at Number One on Billboard's Country Chart. The disc's first single, "Once in a Lifetime," set a since-broken record last year for the highest charting debut in Nielsen BDS-era on the Country chart.
In addition to their Entertainer of the Year nomination, Rascal Flatts is also nominated for Top Vocal Group. If they win that category, it will be their sixth consecutive win, tying them with Alabama, the current leader. Rascal Flatts has also been selected as the 2008 recipient of the Academy of Country Music/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award.