Back to news 09/06/11



The nominations for the 45th Annual CMA Awards were announced Tuesday morning (September 6th). Keith Urban scored two nominations, including Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, while Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town were nominated for Vocal Group of the Year. Luke Bryan and Eric Church each earned a nomination in the New Artist of the Year category, while Alan Jackson is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for his collaboration with Zac Brown Band on “As She’s Walking Away.”

“I am so fired up about the nomination for CMA New Artist!,” said Bryan from his home in Nashville this morning. “These moments are life changing, and I am very thankful to have this opportunity to represent the future of our format along with the other four nominees who I not only consider my peers, but my friends as well.”

The 45th Annual CMA Awards will be broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 9th (8p-11p, ET) on ABC.


Keith Urban, who is up for a pair of CMA Awards including Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year, defines what he considers to be an Entertainer.

Keith Urban (Entertainer) OC: …that’s important. [laughs] :30

“Hopefully, it’s somebody that knows how to take you out of your world for a time — that’s my kind of show that I like to go and see, and the kind that when you look down at your watch and two hours have literally flown by and you feel a little bit different when you leave than when you came. I hope with our show that we can take you out of your life for a moment and put you back into it in a slightly different frame of mind, hopefully, with a little more gratitude for the things that are good in your life, no matter how small they may be. I’m hoping that we can have you feeling good about things by the time we leave, and that we played all the songs that you wanted to hear. That’s important. [laughs]”


AUDIO: Eric Church is enjoying one of the biggest years of his career with his recent No. 1 album, Chief, and he’s topping it off with his first CMA nomination for New Artist of the Year.

Eric Church (CMA-New Artist) OC: …you’re doing. :14

“Though my music has never been about winning awards, it’s always cool to be recognized, and especially in this case because the CMA is made up of my peers. And it’s always really cool when the other people that make music and other people do this for a living recognize and acknowledge what you’re doing.” 


AUDIO: Having come off a No. 1 album with Chief, Eric Church, who is nominated for a 2011 CMA New Artist of the Year award, talks about his transformation on stage.

Eric Church (performing live persona) OC: …for a while. :41

“Well, I think a lot of it is who I am on stage isn’t who I am the rest of the day.  And I think people that come to that show, they’re not that way all day either. When they come, they come to that show it’s our time to get away from what we normally do. When I put on the hat and sunglasses, it’s a different personality; it’s a different show. I’m like a spring that comes uncoiled and for 90 minutes, or however long it is. It’s a war out there. It’s a battle between the crowd and myself, and we’re gonna sweat and bleed and scream and everything else…and probably gonna be covered in beer when we leave. It’s that kind of show, and I think that’s why they [can] relate to us. I’m doing the same thing. I’m there for a release, and so are they. That energy exchange — it’s over the music, it’s over passion, but it’s also just getting away from our lives for a while.”


AUDIO: Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood talks about being recognized at the CMA Awards.

Lady A (CMA nominations) OC: …see us. :34

DH: “For us, we are grateful to be recognized. These awards shows, to have the respect of the people you know and work with in this industry and Nashville and the country format, is huge. I mean, we write this music for the fans out there, but when somebody pats you on the back as well, is a huge honor. And being able to see everybody and have everybody together that night, the CMA Awards are so much fun and regardless of what happens, regardless of any award, we’re still going to obviously get our full happiness from playing these shows and touring and letting these fans come out and see us.”


AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild says the group never takes any award nomination for granted.

Little Big Town (CMA nomination – Vocal Group) OC: …early days. :51

KF: “Well, that category…look at it from when we were nominated the first time to what it is now. There were some pretty big names left off that list this year.  Which was a shock to us, so we never take for granted because we weren’t sure we would be on there.  I think it’s great for the bands like us and like Rascal Flatts who have been around for a while now to know that we kind of led the way a bit on this big group push that’s happening now. The diversity in the format and I think it’s cool. I think it’s great that we’re seeing that. To me some of the best music in the format is in that category. You know, Zac, Lady A…I think it’s really exciting, and I feel good that maybe we were a piece of that puzzle in the early days.”


AUDIO: Luke Bryan, who recently scored a two-week No. 1 album with tailgates & tanlines, talks about his CMA New Artist nomination.

Luke Bryan (CMA New Artist) OC: …happy with that. :18

“When you look at all who’s nominated, it all, it always makes things exciting, because it’s a good time for the younger generation of country music to be, to be involved and to even be nominated. I’m just glad I’m being considered a new artist. As long as they’ll let me be a new artist, I’ll be happy with that.”