NEW YORK (CBS) — The host and nominations were announced today for the 53rd ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™, Country Music’s Party of the Year®, honoring country music’s superstars and hottest emerging talent. Multimedia superstar and 16-time ACM Award® winner Reba McEntire will return to host live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 15 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. This year’s show will mark Reba’s 15th time hosting the ceremony, last appearing in 2012 with Blake Shelton.

In addition to surprising audiences with the news that she will host, Reba appeared live today on CBS THIS MORNING to announce this year’s ACM Award nominees for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, as well as nominees for Song of the Year on Facebook Live. ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT host Nancy O’Dell announced additional nominees on ETonline.com.

Chris Stapleton leads with eight nominations in five categories, including his first nod for Entertainer of the Year. Stapleton is also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, and twice, as both artist and producer, in both the Album of the Year and Single Record of the Year categories; he received the Album of the Year nod for From a Room: Volume 1, and the Single Record of the Year nod for “Broken Halos.” He is also nominated twice in the Song of the Year category, both as artist and songwriter, for “Whiskey and You.”

Reigning Male Vocalist of the Year Thomas Rhett earned six nominations, including his second in the Male Vocalist of the Year category. Rhett is also nominated twice, as an artist and producer, for Album of the Year for Life Changes and Vocal Event of the Year for “Craving You” (featuring Maren Morris). Lastly, he is nominated for his first Music Video of the Year award for “Marry Me,” along with director TK McKamy and producer Dan Atchison.

Keith Urban earned five nominations including his eighth nod for Entertainer of the Year and 11th nod for Male Vocalist of the Year. Urban is also nominated for Song of the Year for “Female,” and twice, as both artist and producer, in the Vocal Event of the Year category for “The Fighter” (featuring Carrie Underwood). Urban won Top New Male Vocalist of the Year in 2000 and Top Male Vocalist of the Year in 2004 and 2005. A win in the Entertainer of the Year category would also make him the eighth-ever ACM Triple Crown winner.

Songwriter Shane McAnally received five nominations. He is nominated as Songwriter of the Year, and twice as songwriter in the Song of the Year category for Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” and Keith Urban’s “Female.” McAnally is also nominated in the Album of the Year category for Old Dominion’s album Happy Endings, and in the Single Record of the Year category as a producer on Midland’s single “Drinkin’ Problems.”

Reigning Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert received four nominations, including her 12th nod for Female Vocalist of the Year. If she wins, it will be her ninth consecutive win in this category. She is the current record holder for most consecutive wins in the Female Vocalist of the Year category. Miranda currently is tied for the winningest artist in ACM history with 29 awards along with Brooks & Dunn. This year, she is also nominated twice, both as artist and songwriter, in the Song of the Year category for “Tin Man,” and for Video of the Year for “We Should Be Friends.”

Reigning New Female Vocalist of the Year Maren Morris received four nominations, including her second nod in the Female Vocalist of the Year category.  Morris is also nominated twice, as an artist and producer, in the Vocal Event of the Year category for “Dear Hate” (featuring Vince Gill). She is nominated again in the category with Thomas Rhett for “Craving You.”

Sam Hunt received three nominations for his hit “Body Like A Back Road”: one nod in the Single Record of the Year category, and two, both as artist and songwriter, in the Song of the Year category.

Reigning Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town earned their 12th nomination in the category. This would be their fourth consecutive win and fifth overall. They are also nominated for Album of the Year for Breaker and Single Record of the Year for “Better Man.”

First-time Academy of Country Music Award nominee Midland received three nominations for Vocal Group of the Year, New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year, and Single Record of the Year for “Drinkin’ Problem.”

Eighteen-time ACM Award winner Tim McGraw and 16-time ACM Award winner Faith Hill received their first-ever nomination as a duo in the Vocal Duo of the Year category.

Reba McEntire received her 16th nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year. This would be her eighth win in the category.

The following is the list of final nominees. The Academy of Country Music’s professional membership selects the nominees and winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards. The full list of nominations is available on ACMcountry.com and CBS.com.

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

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(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

  • 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: Vol. 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(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

  • “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(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

  • “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(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

  • “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(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

  • “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

IMPORTANT NOTE: Award counts for artists reflect categories in which they have been recognized as individuals or as part of their duo or group. In some cases, an artist may receive more than one nomination which factors into their official count.

Multimedia entertainment mogul and mom, Reba McEntire has become a household name through a successful career that spans across music, television, film, theater and retail. She capped off 2017 with the newly-packaged album “My Kind of Christmas,” featuring collaborations with Vince Gill and Amy Grant, Darius Rucker, Lauren Daigle, Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood. McEntire also marked her 13th summit as “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” topped both the Billboard Country and Christian/Gospel charts, bolstering her successful record of 35 #1 singles and over 56 million albums sold worldwide. The double-disc collection, released jointly on Nash Icon Records/Capitol Christian Music Group, earned her a GRAMMY® Award for Best Roots Gospel Album and her first GMA Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member has won 15 American Music Awards, 16 ACM Awards, 9 People’s Choice Awards, 6 CMA Awards and 3 GRAMMY Awards, in addition to other philanthropic and leadership honors, such as the Horatio Alger Association and induction alongside her mom in the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

During her 2011 All The Women I Am Tour, Pollstar and Billboard’s Boxscore named McEntire the #1 female country touring artist with a combined total of over nine million tickets sold in her career. She is part of the longest-running country act in the history of the Colosseum at Caesars: Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas, which returns in March 2018. In 2005 McEntire partnered with Dillard’s to launch her own lifestyle brand, and she separately launched the REBA by Justin™ collection at select retailers nationwide. She most recently has been named the first woman and musician to portray KFC’s iconic founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, in the brand’s celebrity colonel campaign to launch KFC Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken. The Oklahoma native is an acclaimed actress with 11 movie credits to her name, a lead role on Broadway in “Annie Get Your Gun,” and starred in the six-season television sitcom, “Reba.”

About the Academy of Country Music Awards
The 53RD ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™ is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are executive producers. Pete Fisher is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

Tickets to the ACM Awards are now on sale at www.axs.com. Media credential applications to cover the Awards in Las Vegas are now available at www.ACMcountry.com/press. For more information on the ACM Awards and all ACM events including ACM Party for a Cause®, visit www.ACMcountry.com and www.PartyForaCause.com. You can like Academy of Country Music on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards and Instagram @ACMAwards for more immediate updates.

CHEAT TWEET: This Just In! 53rd @ACMawards Nominations Revealed + @Reba Returns to Host LIVE from Las Vegas @MGMGrand April 15 @ 8pm on #CBS!  

RATING:  To Be Announced

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