Keith Urban leads Academy of Country Music nominations

Keith Urban. (Photo: AP)
Keith Urban. (Photo: AP)

Nashville - Keith Urban's boundary-pushing album Ripcord has spawned several top country singles and led him to pick up seven nominations including entertainer of the year and album of the year at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.

Lady Antebellum announced the nominations on Thursday on CBS This Morning for the awards show, which will be held April in Las Vegas and aired live on CBS. Urban is also nominated for male vocalist of the year, single record of the year and song of the year.

Six-time nominee Miranda Lambert could make history again as she is nominated for female vocalist of the year, which she has won a record seven years in a row. She is also nominated for album of the year for her double album, The Weight of These Wings, single record of the year, song of the year and video of the year.

Coming off her Grammy win for best country solo performance, Maren Morris tied Lambert with six nominations, including album of the year for HERO. She also is nominated as female vocalist of the year, new female vocalist of the year and single record of the year for her song, My Church.

With strong pop, dance and R&B influences, Urban's album has dominated country radio over the past year, with four singles reaching the top six on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.

Urban, who performed his newest single The Fighter at the Grammys last Sunday with Carrie Underwood, said the entertainer of the year nomination is an acknowledgement of great live performances.

"I have been a musician since I was six and playing on stage since I was like 7," Urban told The Associated Press on Thursday. "I have always loved performing on stage, being an entertainer. So that category has always been the highest honor imaginable."

He added that great performances are all about being "in the flow," and mentioned Adele's performance at the Grammys when she restarted her tribute to George Michael.

"She had this incredible courage to stop it in the middle of a live show and say, 'Let me get this thing right,'" Urban said. "It was the most extraordinary thing I have ever seen on a live TV show."

Competing with Urban for entertainer of the year will be last year's winner, Jason Aldean, along with Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Underwood.

Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw both have five nominations each, including a shared nomination for vocal event of the year for their collaboration on the song May We All.

Bryan and Dierks Bentley, who has three nominations, return to host the awards for a second time together. Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton also each have three nominations.

See a full list of nominees below:

Entertainer of the Year
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Florida Georgia Line
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Dierks Bentley
Thomas Rhett
Chris Stapleton
Keith Urban

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Maddie & Tae

Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Rascal Flatts
Lady Antebellum

Album of the Year
Black, Dierks Bentley
Dig Your Roots, Florida Georgia Line
Hero, Maren Morris
Ripcord, Keith Urban
The Weight of These Wings, Miranda Lambert

New Male Vocalist of the Year
Kane Brown
Chris Janson
Chris Lane
Jon Pardi
Brett Young

New Female Vocalist of the Year
Lauren Alaina
Brandy Clark
Maren Morris

New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year
A Thousand Horses
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Maddie & Tae

Video of the Year
Fire Away - Chris Stapleton
Forever Country - Aritsts of Then, Now and Forever
Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw
Peter Pan - Kelsea Ballerini
Vice - Miranda Lambert

Vocal Event of the Year
Different for Girls - Dierks Bentley feat. Elle King
Forever Country - Artists of Then, Now and Forever
May We All - Florida Georgia Line feat. Tim McGraw
Setting the World on Fire - Kenny Chesney feat. Pink
Think of You - Chris Young feat. Cassadee Pope

Single Record of the Year 
Blue Ain’t Your Color - Keith Urban
H.O.L.Y. - Florida Georgia Line
Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw
My Church - Maren Morris
Vice - Miranda Lambert

Song of the Year 
Blue Ain’t Your Color - Keith Urban (Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen)
Die a Happy Man - Thomas Rhett (Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur)
Humble and Kind - Tim McGraw (Lori McKenna)
Kill a Word - Eric Church feat. Rhiannon Giddens (Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde)
Tennessee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton (Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove)
Vice - Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)

Songwriter of the Year
Ashley Gorley
Luke Laird
Hillary Lindsey
Shane McAnally
Lori McKenna