Miranda Lambert released the most ambitious album of her career earlier this year and Country Music Association voters responded by giving her a record-tying load of nominations.
Lambert has nine nominations for the 48th CMA Awards, tying her own mark for the most nods to a female nominee, and nearly doubling her nearest competitor when the list was announced Wednesday in New York. Dierks Bentley is next with five nominations and Eric Church and Keith Urban have four apiece.
The 30-year-old Lambert is up for top honor entertainer of the year along with husband Blake Shelton and has nominations for major categories album of the year for "Platinum," song and single of the year for "Automatic," and is vying for her fifth straight female vocalist of the year trophy.
Urban, George Strait and Luke Bryan round out the entertainer of the year category where Lambert and Bryan are seeking their first win in that coveted category. Bryan and Urban also are up for album of the year. Bryan's "Crash My Party" and Urban's "Fuse" join Bentley's "Riser" and Church's "The Outsiders" in the category.
New artist of the year nominees are Brandy Clark, Brett Eldredge, Kip Moore, Thomas Rhett, and Cole Swindell.
Bryan and Shelton are tied with Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood with three nominations apiece. The nominations were announced on ABC's "Good Morning America" and at a news conference by Darius Rucker and Little Big Town. Underwood and Brad Paisley host the Nov. 5 show live from Nashville, Tennessee.
Lambert padded out her list of nominations with two apiece in the vocal event ("Somethin' Bad" with Underwood and "We Were Us" with Urban) and music video ("Automatic" and "Somethin' Bad") categories. "Automatic," the first single from "Platinum," was nominated for both song and single of the year as well.
Shelton and Lambert will be attempting to extend their record streak of wins by a married couple in the male and female vocalist categories. Each has won four straight. Lambert will be competing against Underwood, Musgraves, Taylor Swift, and Martina McBride. Shelton faces Bentley, Bryan, Church, and Urban.
Voters have an interesting choice to make in the entertainer of the year category. Lambert and Bryan are arguably the genre's top stars and voters could justifiably reward either with a trophy that goes hand in hand with superstar status. Strait is seeking his second consecutive win in the category after announcing he would retire from the road. He played his final concert earlier this year, setting attendance records at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. And "American Idol" judge Urban and "The Voice" coach Shelton remain two of country's most visible stars.