Church receives a total of seven nods, Hayes follows with six, and Swift along with Miranda Lambert gets five each at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.
The nomination list of the upcoming 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards has been revealed Wednesday, February 13. Last year's ACM Best New Artist, Scotty McCreery, helped announce the nominees as part of a digital press conference but he didn't get any noms.
Eric Church leads the pack with seven nods, Hunter Hayes trails behind with six, and Taylor Swift along with Miranda Lambert follows with five noms each. Swift and Lambert are competing against each other for Entertainer of the Year, but Church and Hayes are not.
Other Entertainer of the Year contenders are Luke Bryan who lands four noms in total, Jason Aldean who receives three nods, and Blake Shelton who gets two. Both Bryan and Shelton will co-host the ceremony in Las Vegas on April 7. This year marks Shelton's third consecutive year as the show's host.
Though Church and Hayes stop short in vying for the biggest prize, they still make the list for the top awards. Church is competing for Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Video of the Year. Hayes is also nominated for Video of the Year, in addition to New Male Vocalist and Best New Artist.
"It's amazing. That puts it in perspective," Hayes gushed. "I'm kind of feeling like I'm part of the family now, especially now, with this. That's such an honor, such a huge compliment. This is serious. This is for real. This says that my music's been accepted by this community and it's unbelievable - and that's one of the best feelings in the world."
Swift and Lambert are facing off each other to be Female Vocalist of the Year along with Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and Kacey Musgraves. It's Underwood's eighth consecutive nomination in the category, and she won it three years in a row in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In Vocal Duo of the Year, Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, Love and Theft, Sugarland, Thompson Square are vying for the prize. The Band Perry , Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Zac Brown Band, meanwhile, are battling for Vocal Group of the Year.
Crossover artist Kelly Clarkson is once again nominated for Vocal Event of the Year, thanks to her collaboration with Vince Gill in "Don't Rush". The winner of "American Idol" inaugural season won the award last year, for her recording with Aldean, "Don't You Wanna Stay".
Entertainer of the Year:
- "Blown Away" - Carrie Underwood (19/Arista Nashville, produced by Mark Bright)
- "Chief" - Eric Church (EMI-Nashville, prod. by Jay Joyce)
- "Red" - Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records, prod. by Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker, Dan Wilson)
- "tailgates & tanlines" - Luke Bryan (Capitol Nashville, produced by Mark Bright, Jeff Stevens)
- "Tornado" - Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville, prod. by Jay Joyce)
- "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" - Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville, prod. by Mike Wrucke)
- "Over You" - Miranda Lambert (RCA, prod. by Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf)
- "Pontoon" - Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville, prod. by Jay Joyce)
- "Springsteen" - Eric Church (EMI-Nashville, prod. by Jay Joyce)
- "Wanted" - Hunter Hayes (Atlantic/WMN, prod. by Hunter Hayes, Dann Huff)
- "A Woman Like You" - Lee Brice (Composers: Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, Jon Stone)
- "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" - Eli Young Band (Composers: Will Hoge, Eric Paslay)
- "Over You" - Miranda Lambert (Composers: Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton)
- "Springsteen" - Eric Church (Composers: Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell)
- "Wanted" - Hunter Hayes (Composers: Hunter Hayes, Troy Verges)
- Rodney Clawson
- Dallas Davidson
- Josh Kear
- Luke Laird
- Shane McAnally
- "Creepin' " - Eric Church
- "Merry Go ‘Round" - Kacey Musgraves
- "Tornado" - Little Big Town
- "Wanted" - Hunter Hayes
- "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
- "The Wind" - Zac Brown Band
- "Don't Rush" - Kelly Clarkson ft. Vince Gill
- "Easy" - Rascal Flatts ft. Natasha Bedingfield
- "Feel Like A Rock Star" - Kenny Chesney with Tim McGraw
- "Let It Rain" - David Nail ft. Sarah Buxton
- "The Only Way I Know" - Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan & Eric Church