Labor Day got off to a great start for Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Keith Urban and other stars with news that they had been nominated for multiple Country Music Assn. Awards. Miranda, who is already the most awarded female in CMA history with 12 wins, leads this year’s list with five nods. Keith and Little Big Town follow with four apiece.

Artists scoring three nominations are: Eric Church, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and Chris Stapleton. Meanwhile, Brothers Osborne, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Old Dominion and Jon Pardi earned two apiece.

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Kelsea Ballerini, a Female Vocalist of the Year nominee, was among the first to respond to her nomination on social media, writing on Twitter, “Oh heavens, I need a dress, and I need to breathe and a I need a date,” before soliciting fiancé Morgan Evans for the latter job.

Among the happy surprises in this year’s list are Reba McEntire’s return to the Female Vocalist category for the first time since 2010, and Lauren Alaina’s first-ever CMA nomination. Lauren landed a nod in the New Artist of the Year category, alongside Luke Combs, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi and Brett Young. With the exception of Od Dominion, everyone in the category is a first-time nominee this year.

Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton were among the most surprising snubs. Neither superstar garnered a single nomination.

The late Glen Campbell earned his first CMA nomination in 40 years . His duet with Willie Nelson, “Funny How Time Slips Away,” was recognized in the Musical Event category. His last nomination came in 1977 when “Southern Nights” was up for Single of the Year.

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Winners will be revealed Nov. 8 when “The 51st Annual CMA Awards” air on ABC. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return as hosts.

Who do you think is missing? Leave a comment and let us know.

Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban score big in CMA Awards nominations Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
Phyllis Stark is a Nashville-based entertainment journalist who has been reporting extensively on country music (and loving every moment of it) for more than two decades.
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