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Brad Paisley leads CMA nominees. Did your favorite get a nod?

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The nominees for the 43rd Annual CMA Awards were announced this morning, and you should get excited! It’s country music’s biggest night! Except for that other one with rearranged letters that happens in April! (Will I ever stop making fun of that? No! It amuses me!)

There are more or less exactly zero surprises here: Brad Paisley leads with six SEVEN* noms surrounding his American Saturday Night, including “Then” for Song/Single of the Year — it’s only made me cry like six dozen times, I fail to see what is the big deal — and Entertainer of the Year, which he will probably lose to Chesney again, despite the fact that these people obviously find Brad entertaining enough to let him host the show. (Paisley and Carrie Underwood will resume their duties as emcees on the Nov. 11 telecast.)

Elsewhere, all kinds of men crawling all up in this here dancerie: Chesney, Urban, Strait, Randy Houser (really?), Jamey Johnson, Jake Owen, blah blah blah. It’s a good thing they gave Taylor Swift an Entertainer nod — yes, I do mean that in all sincerity, she’s earned it — just to break up the sausage party. (Did your current ACM EOY, Carrie Underwood, get snubbed here? I say no: ACM EOY was fan voted, so of course she won… but she hasn’t been touring, new album’s not out yet, etc. We’re between cycles for Ms. Underwood. Calm yourselves, psycho fans!)

I also enjoy the dueling frat parties of Darius Rucker and the Zac Brown Band vying for Best New Artist; both went (somewhat unexpectedly) platinum this year, and it should be interesting to see which way the votes swing. I say Zac — just cause Darius came in with a pre-existing fan condition — but I’m probably wrong. And you knew I’d bring this up eventually: Thank god someone finally nominated Sugarland’s Love on the Inside for Album of the Year.

Other questions: Will Lady Antebellum end Rascal Flatts’ reign of terror to win their first Vocal Group Award? Will Brooks & Dunn win their last award for Duo? How much do you think Letterman’s BEST SONG EVAR ZOMG endorsement of Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy” helped that song get its Song/Single nods? How weird is it that they gave Randy Travis a Song of the Year nom for Carrie Underwood’s sledgehammery cover of his “I Told You So”? And, as always: Keith or Kenny, people, Keith or Kenny… or Taylor?

Check out the full list of nominees after the jump, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

*UPDATE 9/10: Paisley scored another nod alongside Keith Urban today, when the CMA realized they’d left the pair’s “Start a Band” off the list of nominated Musical Events. Oopsy.

More from EW’s Music Mix:

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Entertainer of the Year

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

George Strait

Taylor Swift

Keith Urban

Female Vocalist

Miranda Lambert

Martina McBride

Reba McEntire

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

Darius Rucker

George Strait

Keith Urban

New Artist

Randy Houser

Jamey Johnson

Jake Owen

Darius Rucker

Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group

Eagles

Lady Antebellum

Little Big Town

Rascal Flatts

Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo

Big & Rich

Brooks & Dunn

Joey & Rory

Montgomery Gentry

Sugarland

Single of the Year

(Award goes to artist and producer.)

“Chicken Fried”

Zac Brown Band

Producer: Keith Stegall

Atlantic Records

“I Run to You”

Lady Antebellum

Producers: Victoria Shaw and Paul Worley

Capitol Records Nashville

“In Color”

Jamey Johnson

Producers: The Kent Hardly Playboys

Mercury Nashville

“People Are Crazy”

Billy Currington

Producers: Carson Chamberlain and Billy Currington

Mercury Nashville

“Then”

Brad Paisley

Producers: Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois

Arista Nashville

Album of the Year

(Award goes to artist and producer.)

American Saturday Night

Brad Paisley

Producers: Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois

Arista Nashville

Defying Gravity

Keith Urban

Producers: Dann Huff and Keith Urban

Capitol Records Nashville

Fearless

Taylor Swift

Producers: Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift

Big Machine Records

Love on the Inside

Sugarland

Producers: Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles

Mercury Nashville

That Lonesome Song

Jamey Johnson

Producers: The Kent Hardly Playboys

Mercury Nashville

Song of the Year

(Award goes to songwriters.)

“Chicken Fried”

Songwriters: Zac Brown and Wyatt Durette

“I Told You So”

Songwriter: Randy Travis

“In Color”

Songwriters: Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller and James Otto

“People Are Crazy”

Songwriters: Bobby Braddock and Troy Jones

“Then”

Songwriters: Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley

Musical Event

(Award goes to each artist.)

“Cowgirls Don’t Cry”

Brooks & Dunn featuring Reba McEntire

Arista Nashville

“Down the Road”

Kenny Chesney (with Mac McAnally)

Blue Chair Records, BNA Records

“Everything But Quits”

Lee Ann Womack (duet with George Strait)

MCA Records

“I Told You So”

Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis

19 Recordings/Arista

“Old Enough”

The Raconteurs featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe

Third Man Records, Warner Bros. Records

“Start a Band”

Brad Paisley (duet with Keith Urban)

Arista Nashville

Music Video

(Award goes to artist and director.)

“Boots On”

Randy Houser

Director: Eric Welch

“Love Story”

Taylor Swift

Director: Trey Fanjoy

“People Are Crazy”

Billy Currington

Directors: The Brads

“Start a Band”

Brad Paisley (duet with Keith Urban)

Directors: Jim Shea

“Troubadour”

George Strait

Director: Trey Fanjoy

Musician of the Year

Eddie Bayers — drums

Paul Franklin — steel guitar

Dann Huff — guitar

Brent Mason — guitar

Mac McAnally — guitar

Photo Credit: Kurt Markus

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