But that wasn’t the only shock-a-roonie of the two-day nominations announcement. Lady Antebellum achieved something that’s never been done before, Steel Magnolia and The Band Perry each accomplished something that’s probably been done only once. And Miranda did something that’s only happened twice.
Here’s a bevy of CMA trivia that you may not have seen anywhere else:
• Just a year after winning Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift has no chance to repeat. It’s been eight years since the last time the Entertainer did not get nominated the following year, though it happened four times in a five-year period during the 1970s. Previous Entertainer winners denied a nomination a year later include: Charlie Rich, the 1974 winner; John Denver, 1975; Mel Tillis, 1976; Dolly Parton, 1978; Shania Twain, 1999; and Tim McGraw, 2001.
• The CMA is officially crediting Lady A with five nominations, though you could argue that the band got six. Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood wrote Song of the Year nominee “Need You Now” as a team, so the whole group was indeed involved. In the 44-year history of the awards, an entire group has never co-written a Song of the Year candidate. The closest the CMA came to this issue in the past was when Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were co-writers on “Red Dirt Road” in 2003. Because the songwriters’ names and the act’s name matched up, the duo got credited with a Song of the Year nomination.
• George Strait’s two appearances on the 2010 list make him the all-time CMA leader with 81 nominations. The rest of the Top 5 includes Alan Jackson, 79; Brad Paisley, 52; Vince Gill, 51; and Brooks & Dunn, 50.
• Brooks & Dunn have had at least one nomination every year since 1992, giving them the longest active streak. They’re followed by Martina McBride, who’s been on the ballot every year since 1996; Montgomery Gentry, 1999; Brad Paisley, 2000; and Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts, each since 2002.
• The longest active nominations streak without ever winning a CMA award belongs to Little Big Town, which first appeared among the finalists in 2006.
• Several artists who are primarily based outside of country received nominations this year, including “Toes” co-writer Shawn Mullins and Musical Event of the Year collaborators Dave Matthews and Kid Rock. It’s likely some hard-core traditionalists will protest, but it’s hardly unprecedented. Numerous not-quite-country acts have appeared on the CMA list in the past, including Ringo Starr, the Raconteurs and Robert Plant.
• The Band Perry and Steel Magnolia were both nominated for awards, though neither has yet released a full-fledged album. It appears as if the only other artist who’s done that is Jeannie C. Riley, who charted her first album in October 1968. The nominations were probably announced in August that year, and the album appears to have been released in September, though dates in that era are hard to pin down. TBP and Steel Magnolia do both have EPs in release. The Band Perry’s first album is due Oct. 12. Steel Magnolia’s won’t come out until Jan. 11.
• As a co-writer of “A Little More Country Than That,” Rory Feek got a Song of the Year nomination for a hit he created for Easton Corbin, while simultaneously receiving a nomination as a member of Joey + Rory. The only other artist who’s appeared the same year as a Song of the Year finalist for another artist’s hit is Big & Rich’s John Rich. He actually did that three times — in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
• A number of artists have had two different entries in the same category over the years, but Miranda Lambert competes against herself this year in not one, but two categories: Single and Video. Only twice has that happened previously. Merle Haggard did it in 1970 when “Okie From Muskogee” and “The Fightin’ Side Of Me” were both nominated for Single and Song of the Year. And Alan Jackson did it in three categories in 2002: “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” and “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” got him tabbed twice each in Single, Song and Music Video of the Year.