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By Mary Morningstar
Washington
03 November 2008

The 42nd Annual Country Music Association Awards will be presented in Nashville, Tennessee on November 12. VOA's Mary Morningstar gives us a look at some of this year's top contenders.

Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney leads the nominees for the 42nd Annual Country Music Association Awards. He received a total of seven mentions, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Just Who I Am: Poets And Pirates and Entertainer of the Year, which he won in 2007. Kenny also earned nominations for Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year "Don't Blink." Last year, "Don't Blink" debuted at Number 16 on the Country chart, and took only eight weeks to reach Number One where it remained for four weeks.

Many of this year's CMA Award categories contain the same nominees as last year. Four of the five artists vying for Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year are repeat contenders. Big And Rich, The Wreckers, Montgomery Gentry, Brooks And Dunn and Sugarland make up the Vocal Duo category for the second year in a row.

Sugarland
Sugarland
Sugarland scored a huge hit with "Stay" after performing the song on last year's CMA Awards show. This year, it's nominated for Song of the Year, Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year. Lead singer Jennifer Nettles received a total of six nominations - five with Sugarland and one solo nod for writing "Stay."

Another leading CMA Award nominee is George Strait. His five 2008 nominations give him a career total of 75. Alan Jackson is the only artist with more CMA nominations. He's been nominated 79 times. George will compete for Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. And, Strait's Number One hit, "I Saw God Today," is among the nominees in the Song of the Year and Single of the Year categories.

Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum
The Horizon Award category will now be called New Artist of the Year. Nominees are Rodney Atkins, Lady Antebellum, James Otto, Kellie Pickler and Jason Aldean.

Carrie Underwood was named the CMA's Female Vocalist of the Year in 2006 and 2007. She's up for that award again this year. Carrie also picked up an Album of the Year nomination for Carnival Ride.

On November 12, Carrie will co-host the CMA Awards show with Brad Paisley in Nashville. The ceremony will be televised live in the USA.

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