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Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert snag early wins at the Academy of Country Music Awards

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Sun April 1, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Scotty McCreery wins new artist of the year
  • NEW: Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Sara Evans perform
  • Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift lead the nominations
  • Blake Shelton and Reba McEntire host the awards show on CBS

(CNN) -- Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert scored early wins Sunday night as county music stars aligned in Las Vegas, vying for top honors at the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Kenny Chesney was up for nine awards, the most of any artist, while Taylor Swift lead solo female nominations with three. Both are competing for the coveted entertainer of the year award, alongside nominees Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton.

The 22-year-old Swift took the award home last year while Chesney has won it four times since 2004.

Lady Antebellum, which won the vocal group of the year award, led in group nominations with five. The Eli Young Band, which took home one of the first awards of the night, had three. It won song of the year for "Crazy Girl."

Miranda Lambert snagged the awards for female vocalist of the year and album of the year for "Four the Record."

"I own every record in this category and I've been listening and listening, thinking -- man, not going to get it. Every record is amazing and I'm so thrilled," she said after winning the album award.

American Idol alum Scotty McCreery took home the award for new artist of the year.

The list of first-time nominees included Grace Potter with three, Aaron Lewis with two, and Thompson Square and Love and Theft earned single nominations.

For the second year in a row, Shelton and Reba McEntire hosted the show, which featured early performances by Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Sara Evans also took to the stage. The show was broadcast by CBS.

Chesney's domination of the country music awards included a nomination for male vocalist of the year, his 10th; two album of the year nods for "Hemingway's Whiskey;" double nominations for single record of the year and vocal event of the year as artist and producer on "You and Tequila." That tune, recorded with Potter, was also up for song of the year.

Swift picked up her third consecutive nomination for entertainer of the year. The country and pop singer was also nominated for female vocalist for a fifth year and for video of the year for "Mean."

Aldean's six award nominations included his second for entertainer of the year and male vocalist of the year. His "My Kinda Party" was up for album of the year, while "Don't You Wanna Stay," featuring Kelly Clarkson, was nominated in the single record and vocal event categories. Aldean's "Tattoos On This Town" is competing for video of the year.

Lady Antebellum's five nominations included vocal group of the year, album of the year -- both as artists and producers of "Own The Night" -- and for song and video of the year for "Just A Kiss."

Paisley got his fifth straight entertainer of the year nomination and eighth for male vocalist of the year, which he has won five times since 2006. Paisley also was nominated twice in the vocal event category for "Old Alabama" with Alabama and "Remind Me" with Underwood.

Keith's homage to the ubiquitous party drink container -- "Red Solo Cup" -- was honored with three ACM nominations, including for video of the year and a double nomination as artist and producer for single record of the year.

Potter's three nominations were all shared with Chesney for their collaboration on "You And Tequila."

Eli Young Band's three nominations included single record and song of the year for "Crazy Girl" and vocal group of the year.

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