Country’s brightest stars are reacting to this morning’s nominations for the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Miranda Lambert and Ronnie Dunn read the list this morning at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, live during CBS’ The Early Show.
After her name was read seven times — or 35 times, as Ronnie joked, Miranda was in shock.
“Thirty-five is a lot,” she deadpanned, before getting serious. “I haven’t even had time to process it,” she said. ”It’s awesome, absolutely awesome. All of 2010 and so far, 2011, have been really great. It’s one of those years where you can really feel a push in your career and your life. All of the hard work’s paying off. It’s been a record-breaking year for me, personally and professionally. I’m so thankful.”
And what of the lighthearted professional rivalry between Miranda and her fiance, Blake Shelton? “There’s always some friendly competition between us,” she told The Early Show, “and sometimes not so friendly. But yeah, I’m really proud of him and he’s well-deserving of the nominations. He’s a great vocalist. He deserves to be in that category, definitely.” [Blake earned 2 nominations -- Male Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year (for "Hillbilly Bone") and he's also co-hosting the show with Reba McEntire.]
Ronnie had some high praise for Miranda. “I think her authenticity…what she’s doing right now is, the key to everything,” he said. “She’s definitely very real. I love what she’s doing. I love the energy that she has.”
The JaneDear girls, already nominated for Top New Vocal Duo or Group, learned this morning – the same day their debut album hit stores – that they are nominated for Top Vocal Duo of the Year.
“I am speechless – I can’t believe we have been nominated for ‘Top Vocal Duo of the Year!’” one half of the JaneDear girls duo, Danelle Leverett, said. “I remember playing out acoustically with Susie in backyards and colleges, living on taco soup, like it was yesterday. This doesn’t seem real.”
“This year has been such an amazing year so far!” adds Susie Brown. “We are out on our very first tour with Jason Aldean, we just found out that we’ve broken the Top 15 with our first single “Wildflower,” last night we performed for the first time on live TV on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and today we released our debut album across the country. Now to be nominated for ACM’s Top Vocal Duo of the Year is so overwhelming and I feel deeply honored to be in a category with so many amazing artists. I just want to thank all the wonderful radio stations and fans that believe in us and have embraced us so warmly. We can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces in 2011!”
The Randy Rogers Band garnered their third straight ACM nod for Top Vocal Group, following a performance on Conan last night.
“It means the world to the band and crew,” Randy Rogers said. “We take this seriously, obviously, and it’s our livelihood, so being included in a category that is recognized nationally like that is validating for us for sure.”
Colt Ford and Easton Corbin both received their first ACM nominations this morning. Colt is nominated in the Vocal Event of the Year category for his collaborative single, “Cold Beer,” with friend Jamey Johnson while Easton is nominated for three ACMs, including Top New Solo Vocalist and Single and Song of the Year nods for his song “A Little More Country Than That.”
“I never dreamed I would get a nomination for anything,” Colt said. “I just wanted to make a good song with my friend Jamey. I am so humbled to even be mentioned with the amazing artists in this category. I promise no one is more grateful than me!”
“The Academy of Country Music Awards are iconic because they are such an institution,” Easton said. “I’ve watched the ACMs since I was a kid. It’s such an honor to be part of that. The nominations are confirmation from the people that you work with, and also the fans, because the new artist category is fan-voted. This is a dream come true. This is something I’ve wanted all my life. To be able to do this for a living and have people like it, I couldn’t ask for any better. I am so blessed.”
“What?!! “Blue Sky” is nominated for an ACM Award! Thank you!” Emily wrote on her Facebook page.
“Wow! What a way to start the day!” said Lee Brice. “I’m out on the west coast deep in dreamland and my hotel phone starts ringing at 5:30am and it’s my manager screaming ‘Wake Up! We got 3 ACM Nominations!’ I grinned from ear to ear. It’s such an honor just to be nominated and such a boost personally after putting so much time and work into this.”
Lee’s nominations include Song of the Year for “Love Like Crazy” and as both an artist and producer for Single Record of the Year for “Love Like Crazy.” This is the first year that Brice has been nominated for the ACM Awards. The nominated single was written by Tim James and Doug Johnson, who also produced the track.
“The triumph of a gold-selling double album is shared by my family, my friends/bandmates/producers, my staff, my label, my booking agents, my publishers, my management, my publicists, my handlers, my wranglers, my fans, my dog, Willie’s braids and that beautiful brunette in Toledo,” says Jamey Johnson, whose album The Guitar Song was nominated for Album of the Year. “Thanks all for the hard work and dedication. You all deserve each accolade. And thanks to the Academy voters for the recognition.”
Jamey also received an ACM nomination in the category of Vocal Event of the Year for his performance with Colt Ford of “Cold Beer.”
“If working with Colt in the studio was a ball, touring with him on the road with the Grascals and Hank Williams, Jr. was several balls,” Jamey says. “He’s a unique artist in a day where uniquity is not usually rewarded. I’m proud to be nominated alongside my friend.”
Little Big Town received their sixth straight nomination in the Top Vocal Group category.
“I hold my breath hoping for a nomination every year. It was nice to wake up this morning and hear the great news,” group member Kimberly Schlapman said.
Keith Urban, nominated for Top Male Vocalist and Vocal Event of The Year with Emily West for “Blue Sky,” took to Twitter to announce his excitement over the nominations.
“Goodness gracious!!!!! Absolutely beaming hearing the news this morning about our ACM nominations…..can’t wait to get to Vegas, and hopefully get the chance to actually “say” thank you,” Keith tweeted.
Kenny Chesney finds himself as the most nominated male artist for the awards, despite taking a year off from touring. He’s earned five nominations as both a writer and producer for Album of the Year for Hemingway’s Whiskey and Single Record of the Year and Video of the Year for “The Boys of Fall.”
“In making ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey,’ it was important for me to push myself and my audience while at the same time staying true to who I am as an artist,” Kenny said. “That’s why I’m so proud of this album and even more proud of the nomination for ACM Album of the Year.”
Keep checking back throughout the day as we post more artist reactions! The 46th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 8 p.m. live ET/delayed PT on CBS. CLICK HERE to cast your vote for the 2011 ACM New Artist Fan Voting!