Tulsa World

Stapleton, Church vie for top CMA awards

Underwood also nominated for entertaine­r of the year

- KRISTIN M. HALL

Country stars Chris Stapleton and Eric Church will go toe-totoe with each other at this year’s Country Music Associatio­n Awards, with both vying in the same five categories, including entertaine­r of the year.

In nomination­s announced on Thursday, Stapleton has nomination­s in male vocalist, album of the year, single and song of the year, and could take home additional trophies as producer both on his album and single. Church, who put out a three-part album in April collective­ly called “Heart & Soul,” also earned five nomination­s.

They join Checotah’s Carrie Underwood as well as Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs as entertaine­r of the year nominees. Lambert, who is also nominated for female vocalist and musical event, was already the most nominated female artist in CMA history and now ties with Brad Paisley for third in overall nomination­s, the CMA said in a news release. The CMA Awards will air on Nov. 10 on ABC.

Gabby Barrett had another good year with the success of the No. 1 hit country song, “The Good Ones” and she earned four nomination­s for female artist of the year, new artist, single and song of the year.

Disgraced country star Morgan Wallen, who was caught earlier this year yelling a racial slur, still got enough votes to secure a nomination in one of the top prizes, album of the year. The CMA Board of Directors announced earlier that Wallen would be disqualifi­ed for individual awards, but he would be eligible for awards that honor an artistic work. Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” spent 10 consecutiv­e weeks on the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, making it one of the best selling albums of 2021.

Carly Pearce is the lone female artist in the album category with her record “29.” The first part of Church’s trilogy called “Heart” was nominated in album category and “Skeletons” by Brothers Osborne also earned an album nod.

Combs could add another male vocalist of the year trophy to his shelf. He took home the award the past two years and is nominated again, as well as for song of the year for “Forever After All.”

 ?? COURTESY, TRAE PATTON/NBC ?? Carrie Underwood is up against Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs for entertaine­r of the year at the Country Music Associatio­n Awards.
COURTESY, TRAE PATTON/NBC Carrie Underwood is up against Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs for entertaine­r of the year at the Country Music Associatio­n Awards.

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