AceShowbiz - This year's competition for the Country Music Association Awards is going to be unpredictable. The list of nominations for the 56th annual ceremony was unveiled on Wednesday, September 7 and it saw several artists receiving surprise nominations.
Taylor Swift, who last won a CMA Award in 2017 for "Better Man", makes a return this year despite not releasing a new album during the eligibility period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. She scores a nomination in Music Video of the Year category alongside Chris Stapleton for the clip of their song "I Bet You Think About Me".
Joining Swift as a surprise nominee is her close friend and actress Blake Lively, who earns a nomination for directing the "I Bet You Think About Me" music video. While this marks her first CMA nomination, the "Gossip Girl" alum has also received an ACM nomination for the same work.
Morgan Wallen also makes a return this year after he was banned from many award shows last year following his N-word controversy. He earns a spot in the coveted category Entertainer of the Year as well as Male Vocalist of the Year. He faces off Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood for the former category, and is pitted against Eric Church, Luke Combs, Cody Johnson and Stapleton again for the latter prize.
Leading in terms of number is rising star Lainey Wilson, who bags six nominations for Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Music Video of the Year and Musical Event of the Year.
Other rising female artists, namely Ashley McBryde and Carly Pearce, also earn multiple nominations. They, alongside Stapleton, trail behind Wilson with five nominations each, including Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year.
"This year's slate is impressive, with some nominees logging historic milestones while others are just getting started," Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer, said in a statement. "No matter what stage in their career, they each bring a unique voice and unforgettable story to life, showing that Country Music is stronger than ever! We look forward to honoring them this November."
Luke Bryan and NFL legend Peyton Manning are tapped to host the ceremony, which will air live Wednesday, November 9 on ABC at 8 P.M. ET/5 P.M. PT. The show will be executive produced by Robert Deaton and directed by Alan Carter. Jon Macks is the head writer for the show.
Full List of Nominations for the 2022 CMA Awards:
Entertainer of the Year
Single of the Year
Album of the Year
Song of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Vocal Duo of the Year
Musical Event of the Year
Musician of the Year
Music Video of the Year
New Artist of the Year