Lainey Wilson is the top nominee for the 2022 CMA Awards with six nods, including album of the year for Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin.’ The remarkable part: Wilson is a first-time nominee.
She is the fourth artist in CMA Awards history to receive six or more nominations in their first year on the ballot, following Glen Campbell in 1968, Brad Paisley in 2000 and Kacey Musgraves in 2013. Campbell and Paisley each received six nods. Musgraves burst out of the gate with eight nods.
These nominations are a great setup for Wilson’s upcoming album Bell Bottom Country, which is due Oct. 28, 12 days before the CMA Awards are presented in Nashville.
Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce and Chris Stapleton each received five nods. Cody Johnson and Josh Osborne were next in line with four nods. Luke Combs, HARDY, Miranda Lambert, Midland and Carrie Underwood each received three. (Midland is the only group or duo to receive three or more nods.)
The nominees for the most coveted award — entertainer of the year — are Combs, Lambert, Stapleton, Underwood and Morgan Wallen. This is Wallen’s first nomination in the category. He took the slot occupied last year by Eric Church. This is the third year in a row that both Lambert and Underwood have been nominated in this category. This is the first time that two female acts have been nominated in this category three years running since 1986-88 when Reba McEntire and The Judds were nominated three years in a row.
McAnally received his 10th song of the year nomination for co-writing “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” a hit for Pearce and McBryde. McAnally is now tied for most song of the year nods with Alan Jackson, who amassed 10 nods from 1990 to 2008. McAnally has amassed all of his nods in a 10-year span, from 2013-22. McAnally won the category in 2014 for co-writing the Musgraves hit “Follow Your Arrow.”
For the first time in CMA history, three of the five nominees for single of the year are collaborations: “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan, “half of my hometown” by Kelsea Ballerini feat. Kenny Chesney and “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” by Pearce and McBryde. The latter song is the second all-female collab in CMA history to be nominated for single of the year, following “Does He Love You” by McEntire with Linda Davis in 1994.
“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” is this year’s only work to receive nominations for single, song and video of the year. “Buy Dirt” and Stapleton’s “You Should Probably Leave” were nominated for both single and song of the year but not video of the year.
Counting this year’s nominations, Lambert has secured 61 career nominations. She’s the third most-nominated artist in CMA history, following George Strait (83) and Jackson (81). Lambert is the most-nominated female artist in CMA history, followed by McEntire (52), Dolly Parton (44), Underwood (40) and Loretta Lynn (39).
Underwood returned to the female vocalist of the year finals after being bumped last year. This is her 16th nomination in the category. It’s also the 16th nomination for Lambert, whose nominations are consecutive. These two stars are tied for third place on the list of top nominees in this category. McEntire leads with 18 nods, followed by Martina McBride with 17.
Maren Morris broke a six-year string of nominations for female vocalist of the year, though she received an album of the year nod for Humble Quest, which helps ease the sting. Gabby Barrett also dropped out of the female vocalist category after being nominated last year for the first time.
Cody Johnson and Wallen landed their first nominations for male vocalist of the year. They took the slots filled last year by Dierks Bentley, a nine-time nominee in the category, and Thomas Rhett, a five-time nominee in the category.
There were no changes from last year in the field of nominees for vocal group of the year. Little Big Town landed its 17th nomination in the category, which is second only to Alabama, with 21 nods in the category. Lady A landed its 15th nod, which puts the trio in a tie with The Statler Brothers and Diamond Rio for third place.
Brooks & Dunn landed their 23rd nomination for vocal duo of the year, extending its lead. The only change in the field of nominees from last year was that LoCash landed its first nod in the category, replacing nine-time nominees Florida Georgia Line.
Lambert received her sixth nomination for album of the year, setting a new record for a female artist. She surpasses Lynn, McEntire and Underwood, with five nominations each in the category. Lambert has won twice in the category — in 2010 and 2014.
Taylor Swift’s “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” is nominated for music video of the year, a category she has won twice — for “Love Story” (2009) and “Highway Don’t Care” (2013, a collab with Keith Urban and Tim McGraw). The video features Stapleton, who won in the category in 2016 with “Fire Away.”
HARDY is nominated for new artist of the year for the second year in a row. Johnson is also nominated for the second time, having previously been nominated in 2019. (CMA rules allow artists two nominations in this category.) These two repeaters face first-time nominees Walker Hayes, Parker McCollum and Wilson. (Wilson may have this one in the bag. Paisley and Musgraves both won in this category when they had six or more nominations right out of the gate. The category didn’t exist when Campbell got off to such a fast start in 1968.)
Jenee Fleenor, who has won musician of the year three years running, is nominated again this year. She faces Paul Franklin, who is nominated in the category for the 30th time; Brent Mason, nominated for the 20th time; Derek Wells (his seventh time); and Ilya Toshinskiy (his fourth).
“It’s thrilling to celebrate these deserving nominees while our industry is returning to live music,” Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer, said in a statement. “This year’s slate is impressive, with some nominees logging historic milestones while others are just getting started. No matter what stage in their career, they each bring a unique voice and unforgettable story to life, showing that country music is stronger than ever! We look forward to honoring them this November.”
Winners will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members on Oct. 3.
Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. CT. CMA Broadcast Awards winners will be determined by a final round of judging this month. Entries are judged by a panel of broadcast professionals, representing all market sizes and regions. The winners will be revealed in October and recipients will be honored at the CMA Awards. All balloting is tabulated by the professional services organization Deloitte.
The 56th annual CMA Awards will be held Nov. 9 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Bryan will host the ceremony for the second time, with Peyton Manning as his co-host. The show is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is executive producer, Alan Carter is director and Jon Macks is head writer.
The first CMA Awards Banquet and Show was held at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time on NBC making it the longest-running annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards have aired on ABC since 2006.
Here’s a complete list of nominees for the 56th annual CMA Awards.
Entertainer of the year
Single of the year
Award goes to artist(s), producer(s) and mix engineer
“Buy Dirt” Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan; producer: Paul DiGiovanni; mix engineer: Jim Cooley
“half of my hometown” Kelsea Ballerini (feat. Kenny Chesney); producers: Kelsea Ballerini, Ross Copperman, Jimmy Robbins; mix engineer: Dan Grech-Marguerat
“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde; producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne; mix engineer: Ryan Gore
“’Til You Can’t” Cody Johnson; producer: Trent Willmon; mix engineer: Jack Clarke
“You Should Probably Leave” Chris Stapleton; producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton; mix engineer: Vance Powell
Album of the year
Award goes to artist(s), producer(s) and mix engineer(s)
Growin’ Up Luke Combs; producers: Luke Combs, Chip Matthews, Jonathan Singleton; mix engineers: Jim Cooley, Chip Matthews
Humble Quest Maren Morris; producer: Greg Kurstin; mix engineer: Serban Ghenea
Palomino Miranda Lambert; producers: Luke Dick, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall, Mikey Reaves; mix engineer: Jason Lehning
Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ Lainey Wilson; producer: Jay Joyce; mix engineer: F. Reid Shippen
Time, Tequila & Therapy Old Dominion; producers: Shane McAnally, Old Dominion; mix engineer: Justin Niebank
Song of the year
Award goes to songwriters
“Buy Dirt” — songwriters: Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis, Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins
“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” –songwriters: Shane McAnally, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce
“Sand in My Boots” — songwriters: Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Josh Osborne
“Things a Man Oughta Know” — songwriters: Jason Nix, Jonathan Singleton, Lainey Wilson
“You Should Probably Leave” — songwriters: Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, Chris Stapleton
Female vocalist of the year
Male vocalist of the year
Vocal group of the year
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band
Vocal duo of the year
Brooks & Dunn
Dan + Shay
Maddie & Tae
New artist of the year
Musical event of the year
Award goes to artist(s) and producer(s)
“Beers on Me” Dierks Bentley with BRELAND & HARDY; producers: Dierks Bentley, Ross Copperman
“If I Didn’t Love You” Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood; producer: Michael Knox
“Longneck Way to Go” Midland (featuring Jon Pardi); producers: Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
“Never Say Never” Cole Swindell (with Lainey Wilson); producer: Zach Crowell
“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde; producers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
Music video of the year
Award goes to artist(s) and directors
“I Bet You Think About Me” (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault) Taylor Swift (featuring Chris Stapleton); director: Blake Lively
“Longneck Way to Go” Midland (featuring Jon Pardi); director: Harper Smith
“Never Say Never” Cole Swindell (with Lainey Wilson); director: Michael Monaco
“Never Wanted to Be That Girl” Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde; director: Alexa Campbell
“’Til You Can’t” Cody Johnson; director: Dustin Haney
Musician of the year
Jenee Fleenor, fiddle
Paul Franklin, steel guitar
Brent Mason, guitar
Ilya Toshinskiy, banjo
Derek Wells, guitar
2022 CMA Broadcast Awards
Finalists for broadcast personality of the year (by market size):
“American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) Westwood One
“The Country Top 40 with Fitz” (Cory Fitzner) Hubbard Radio
“The Crook & Chase Countdown” (Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase) iHeartMedia
“Today’s Country with Kelleigh Bannen” (Kelleigh Bannen) Apple Music Radio
“With Elaina” (Elaina Smith) Westwood One
“Angie Ward” iHeartMedia
“The Big D and Bubba Show” (Derek “Big D” Haskins, Sean “Bubba” Powell, Patrick Thomas, and Carsen Humphreville) Compass Media Networks
“The Bobby Bones Show” (Bobby Bones, Amy Brown, “Lunchbox” Dan Chappell, Eddie Garcia, “Morgan #2” Huelsman, “Raymundo” Ray Slater, “Scuba Steve” Stephen Spradlin, “Mike D” Rodriguez, and “Phone Screener Abby” Anderson) Premiere Networks
“Nights with Elaina” (Elaina Smith) Westwood One
“The Sam Alex Show” (Sam Alex) Sam Alex Productions, LLC
“The Andie Summers Show” (Andie Summers) WXTU, Philadelphia, Pa.
“Chris Carr & Company” (Chris Carr, Kia Becht, and McKaila Poppen) KEEY, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
“Danny Dwyer” KUPL, Portland, Ore.
“Josh, Rachael & Grunwald” (Josh Holleman, Rachel Hunter, and Steve Grunwald) WYCD, Detroit, Mich.
“The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister” (Matt McAllister, Emily Raines, and Joe Wallace) KKWF, Seattle, Wash.
“Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt and Kevin Freeman) WFMS, Indianapolis, Ind.
“The Wayne D Show” (“Wayne D” Danielson and Tay Hamilton) WSIX, Nashville, Tenn.
“The Dale Carter Morning Show” (Dale Carter) KFKF, Kansas City, Mo.
“The Big Dave Show” (“Big Dave” Chandler, Chelsie Shinkle, Jason “Stattman” Statt, and Ashley Hempfling) WUBE, Cincinnati, Ohio
“The Wake Up Call with David and Kelli” (David Bugenske and Kelli Green) KFRG, Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.
“The New Q-Morning Crew with Mike and Amanda” (Mike Wheless and Amanda Daughtry) –WQDR, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
“Buzz Jackson” KIIM, Tucson, Ariz.
“Cliff & Tanya in the Morning” (Cliff Dumas and Tanya Brakebill) KUZZ, Bakersfield, Calif.
“Julie and DJ in the Morning” (“Julie K” Kansy, “D.J. Thee Trucker” Dale Sellers, and Jon Dennis) WPCV, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
“New Country Mornings with Nancy and Woody” (Nancy Wilson and Aaron “Woody” Woods) WHKO, Dayton, Ohio
“Steve & Gina in the Morning” (Steve Lundy and Gina Melton) KXKT, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
“The Cat Pak Morning Show with Brent and Mel” (Brent Lane and Mel McCrae) WYCT, Pensacola, Fla.
“Dr. Shane and Tess in the Morning” (“Dr. Shane” Collins and Tess Connell) WPAP, Panama City, Fla.
“The Eddie Foxx Show” (Eddie Foxx and Amanda Foxx) WKSF, Asheville, N.C.
“Liz & Scotty in the Morning” (Liz Del Grosso and Scotty Cox) KCLR, Columbia, Mo.
“Officer Don & DeAnn” (“Officer Don” Evans and DeAnn Stephens) WBUL, Lexington-Fayette, Ky.
Finalists for radio station of the year (by market size):
KILT Houston, Texas
KNIX Phoenix, Ariz.
KSCS Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
WXTU Philadelphia, Pa.
WYCD Detroit, Mich.
KFKF Kansas City, Mo.
WIRK West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla.
WMIL Milwaukee-Racine, Wis.
WQDR Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
WSIX Nashville, Tenn.
KXKT Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa
WHKO Dayton, Ohio
WIVK Knoxville, Tenn.
WQMX Akron, Ohio
WUSY Chattanooga, Tenn.
WCOW La Crosse, Wis.
WKML Fayetteville, N.C.
WKXC Augusta, Ga.
WXBQ Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.
WXFL Florence-Muscle Shoals, Ala.
This story first appeared on billboard.com