Lambert, McGraw lead ACM nominations with 7 each
FILE - In this March 21, 2007 file photo, Miranda Lambert is shown on her tour bus in Nashville, Tenn. Lambert and Tim McGraw are the top nominees for this year's Academy of Country Music Awards. Lambert and McGraw are up for seven awards apiece at the April 6 awards show. The nominations were announced Wednesday morning in a series of videos via social media. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Want to clean up the Academy of Country Music Awards nominations? This year the best way was to put together a killer guest list and go for the Vocal Event of the Year award.
Lead nominees Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton all tallied nominations in that category Wednesday when nominations were announced via videos on social media. Lambert appears in the field twice and leads all nominees with McGraw at seven nominations apiece. Urban is also nominated twice in the category and is next with six nods.
When McGraw invited Swift and Urban to join him on "Highway Don't Care," he said he wasn't thinking about nomination day. But he knew he had a strong song, and "that sort of inherently comes along with a project like that," he said with a chuckle. "Any time when you have Keith and Taylor and myself doing a song together, you'd sort of be a dummy... to think that it wouldn't get some sort of nomination."
Lambert teamed up with Urban on "We Were Us" and husband Shelton and her trio Pistol Annies on "Boys 'Round Here." Urban said he sought out Lambert because of her artistry, something reflected in the range she shows from one nominated song to the other.
"She's an artist, she's not an act," Urban said. "There's a lot of acts in all genres, and then there are some artists... who clearly have a vision of who you are as an artist."
Lambert will be going for her fifth straight female vocalist of the year campaign and along with her husband Shelton is nominated for the top honor, the fan-voted entertainer of the year, against two-time winner Swift, 2013 winner Luke Bryan and previous pick George Strait.
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, country singer Tim McGraw arrives at the 45th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn. McGraw and Miranda Lambert are the top nominees for this year's Academy of Country Music Awards. Lambert and McGraw are up for seven awards apiece at the April 6 awards show. The nominations were announced Wednesday morning in a series of videos via social media. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
"As a female artist, it has been a longtime goal for me to be in this category," Lambert said in a statement. "And such great company too!"
The nomination continues something of a victory lap for Strait, who is wrapping up his final tour this year. He's a former winner in the category who recently won the rival Country Music Association's entertainer of the year trophy.