ACM Awards 2013: Eric Church, Hunter Hayes and Taylor Swift Lead Nominees
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The nominees for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were announced today via a digial press conference. When the final nominations were all tallied, it became clear voters went to "Church" -- as Capitol Nashville recording artist Eric Church led the nominations with seven total. Hunter Hayes was right behind with six, while Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift finished with five nods apiece.

Both Lambert and Swift are among the artists vying for Entertainer of the Year, along with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Lambert's husband, Blake Shelton.

All three of the aforementioned male artists are named in the Male Vocalist category -- alongside Church and Toby Keith. Lambert and Swift both are cited in the Female Vocalist category -- with Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, and -- possibly the biggest surprise of the day -- newcomer Kacey Musgraves, who wound up with four nominations overall.

Thompson Square will aim to defend their win in the Vocal Duo category against competition including Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, Love And Theft, and Sugarland. One of the most competitive categories looks to be Vocal Group of the Year, with The Band Perry squaring off against the Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and the Zac Brown Band.

Little Big Town was featured prominently in the Single, Video, and Album categories. Their chart-topper "Pontoon" was named in the Singles list, while "Tornado" will vie for Video, and their Tornado release was nominated for Album of the Year. The set was produced by Jay Joyce, who has two albums in the category, with the other being Church's Chief. Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, and Carrie Underwood round out the Album of the Year category.

In the Single of the Year category, it could be a clean sweep for Lambert, who finds herself nominated for "Over You," which is also in the running for Song of the Year. She wrote the song with Shelton after the passing of his brother. The couple won the same award from the CMA Awards last fall. Four of the five nominees for Song of the Year are also listed in the Singles category (Eric Church's "Springsteen," The Eli Young Band's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," and Hunter Hayes' "Wanted") with Lee Brice's "A Woman Like You" being the only track nominated for Song of the Year and not Single.

The New Artist of the Year category is bound to be a little interesting with Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer – who announced their engagement last month – in the category against Florida Georgia Line. Each won their respective New Artist category, which was voted on by the fans. Kohl's Department Stores is sponsoring the category.

One of the biggest story of the morning was Kacey Musgraves. The Mercury recording artist wound up with four nominations -- without a top ten single. Her debut, "Merry Go Round," is actually still climbing the Country Airplay chart, at No. 13 this week.

Entertainer nominees Shelton and Bryan will team up to host the ACMs, produced by dick clark productions, on April 7 on CBS from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

List of Nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Blake Shelton
Taylor Swift

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Toby Keith
Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Kacey Musgraves
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Sugarland
Thompson Square

Vocal Group of the Year
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band

New Male Vocalist of the Year
Lee Brice
Brantley Gilbert
Hunter Hayes

New Female Vocalist of the Year
Jana Kramer
Kacey Musgraves
Sunny Sweeney

New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

New Artist of the Year
Florida Georgia Line
Brantley Gilbert
Jana Kramer

Album of the Year
Blown Away – Carrie Underwood
Chief – Eric Church
Red – Taylor Swift
tailgates & tanlines – Luke Bryan
Tornado – Little Big Town

Single Record of the Year
Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band
Over You – Miranda Lambert
Pontoon – Little Big Town
Springsteen – Eric Church
Wanted – Hunter Hayes

Song of the Year
A Woman Like You – Lee Brice (Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, Jon Stone, songwriters)
Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band (Will Hoge, Eric Paslay, songwriters)
Over You – Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, songwriters)
Springsteen – Eric Church (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell, songwriters)
Wanted – Hunter Hayes (Hunter Hayes, Troy Verges, songwriters)

Songwriter of the Year
Rodney Clawson
Dallas Davidson
Josh Kear
Luke Laird
Shane McAnally

Video of the Year
Creepin' – Eric Church (Producer: Iris Baker // Director: Peter Zavadil)
Merry Go ‘Round – Kacey Musgraves (Producers: Perry Bean, Kacey Musgraves // Director: Perry Bean)
Tornado – Little Big Town (Producer: Iris Baker // Director: Shane Drake)
Wanted – Hunter Hayes (Producers: Stephanie Reeves, Eric Williams // Directors: Traci Goudie, Patrick Hubik)
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift (Producer: John Nguyen // Director:  Declan Whitebloom)
The Wind – Zac Brown Band (Producer: Ben Kalina // Director:  Mike Judge)

Vocal Event of the Year
Don’t Rush – Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill
Easy – Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield
Feel Like A Rock Star – Kenny Chesney (Duet With Tim McGraw)
Let It Rain – David Nail  Featuring Sarah Buxton
The Only Way I Know – Jason Aldean With Luke Bryan & Eric Church