2014 CMA Noms: Dierks Bentley & Miranda Lambert Score Big, Jason Aldean Gets Snubbed

Dierks Bentley
John Russell/CMA

Dierks Bentley performs at LP Field on Thursday, June 5 during the 2014 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville.

Wednesday morning on Good Morning America, the nominations for the 48th Annual Country Music Association Awards were announced by Darius Rucker and Little Big Town -- and, as usual, there were a few surprises.

The biggest head-scratcher of all was the omission of Jason Aldean -- who headlined one of the biggest tours of the year -- as a nominee. The singer has also been one of the most consistent on radio, with six of his seven past singles topping the Billboard Country or Country Airplay charts.

Aldean also won the past two Academy of Country Music trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year. Also missing from the nominations list were Rascal Flatts -- despite a number one album in Rewind -- and Big & Rich, who fared well with their current "Look At You" single.

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On the positive end of the surprise spectrum, it was a huge morning for Dierks Bentley, with nominations in the Male Vocalist and Album of the Year categories. In his decade-plus career, the Capitol Nashville recording artist has only carried home one CMA -- the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year) in 2005.

But this year, Bentley found his name called five times: For Male Vocalist, Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Video of the Year, and Song of the Year for "I Hold On," which he co-wrote with Brett James.

Miranda Lambert continued her awards show hot streak, capturing nine nominations, including Entertainer of the Year. She even competes against herself in two categories -- Video of the Year (her clip for "Automatic" runs alongside her "Somethin' Bad' duet with Carrie Underwood) and Musical Event of the Year ("Somethin' Bad" vies for the trophy with "We Were Us," her Keith Urban collaboration). 

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Coming up with four nominations each were Keith Urban and Eric Church, while Blake Shelton, Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan, and Carrie Underwood all wound up with three nods each. Despite moving toward pop music as of late, Taylor Swift received a nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year.

In the Entertainer of the Year category, George Strait has a chance to end his touring career with a fourth Entertainer of the Year trophy thanks to his 83rd nomination -- the CMA record. He won the top prize from the CMA in 1989, 1990, and last year. The Hall of Famer faces tough competition, though, with Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban also earning nominations in the category. Shelton won the award in 2012, while Urban took home the top prize in 2005.

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For Male Vocalist of the Year, Shelton can win a fifth straight trophy in the category he has dominated since 2010. Should he do so, he would tie Strait (1985-1986, 1996-1998) and Vince Gill (1991-1995) for most wins in the category. His spouse, Miranda Lambert, can set her own record with a fifth win in the Female Vocalist category -- eclipsing both Reba McEntire (1984-1987) and Martina McBride (1999, 2002-2004), who currently tie her with four wins.

In the Vocal Group of the Year category, Little Big Town has a chance to tally their third triumph. Their competition includes the Eli Young Band and the Zac Brown Band (neither of whom have won the prize), Lady Antebellum (who won the award from 2009-2011), and the Band Perry. The latter have never won the award, but they did win the same prize in April's Academy of Country Music Awards -- which is sometimes the sign of a CMA win in the fall.

Interestingly, a few of the artists nominated did so without the strength of a radio hit. Brandy Clark found herself in the running for New Artist of the Year despite not placing a chart entry onto the singles chart, while Martina McBride -- a four time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year -- is in the running for Female Vocalist of the Year despite not having a single on the charts since 2012 (though her Everlasting album did enter the Billboard Country Albums chart at No. 1).

Vince Gill and Paul Franklin scored a nomination in the Musical Event of The Year category for their album Bakersfield -- that peaked at No. 4 on the albums chart, though no single made the charts.

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Also nominated in the Musical Event category were Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton for "You Can't Make Old Friends," their first nomination together since 1986. Believe it or not, the iconic duo has never won a CMA trophy together despite a pair of No. 1 singles in the '80s, including "Islands In The Stream."

The 48th Annual Country Music Association Awards will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. For the seventh consecutive year, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host.