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Here are the five things you need to know about this year’s 2015 ACM Award nominations

The ACM Award nominations are in, and you better get ready. There has been quite the shake-up.

1. Goodbye Taylor

Taylor Swift is nowhere to be found in this year’s nominations, and for good reason, with her entry into the pop world pretty much cemented thanks to the overwhelming success of her massive selling album “1989.” Her absence not only opens up a front row seat at the awards, but also opens a spot for some worthy female nominees, including the talented and much-deserving Brandy Clark.

2. Hello Garth

The always-anticipated category of “Entertainer of the Year” experienced quite the shakeup in this year’s ACM Award nominations, with Garth Brooks being welcomed back with a nomination for the biggest category of the night. Brooks will take on Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert — but the question many are asking today is where is Blake?

3. Congrats Miranda

Once again, Miranda Lambert continues to be the queen of the ball, taking a leading eight ACM nominations, including her fourth nod for “Entertainer of the Year.” Dierks Bentley follows closely behind with seven nominations and Florida Georgia Line with five nominations.

4. Nice to meet you Maddie & Tae

Vocal Duo of the Year might still be a no-brainer, with Florida Georgia Line favored to repeat their win from last year. But they have some new competition this year with newcomers Maddie & Tae, The Swon Brothers and Brothers Osborne.

5. Good to see you again Gary, Jay and Joe Don

Rascal Flatts makes a triumphant return to the “Vocal Group of the Year” category after a two year absence, replacing Eli Young Band.

Airing April 19 from Arlington, Texas, this year’s ACM Awards is looking to be quite an interesting affair. Check out the full list of 2015 ACM Award Nominees before the show.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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