Country music megastar Luke Bryan just received some mighty nice news Getty Images
Getty Images

Hosting their inaugural run in 2014 but skipping last year, the American Country Countdown Awards are back and promise to be bigger than ever.

As he did with the inaugural ACCA’s, Luke Bryan leads all nominees as a finalist in seven categories, including Artist of the Year, Song of the Year for “Strip It Down” and Album of the Year for “Kill The Lights.”

Sam Hunt follows with five nominations, while Thomas Rhett and Zac Brown Band each have four. Carrie Underwood, A Thousand Horses, Blake Shelton, Cam, Dan + Shay, Jana Kramer, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, and Old Dominion each are finalists in two categories. Chris Stapleton, who has ruled every recent awards show, only appears in the Album of the Year category.

RELATED: Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley try their damndest to figure out who is responsible for Chris Stapleton’s career

In the way of performers, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett are slated to take the stage with more artists to be announced soon.

The American Country Countdown Awards are determined differently than most other award shows. Finalists are not determined by voting – industry or public – but instead are based on “radio airplay charts, sales and streaming data” from the beginning of April 2015 to the end of March 2016.

RELATED: Cam just turned out one of the most emotional country singalongs of the ACM Awards

The American Country Countdown Awards air live Sunday, May 1.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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