Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker are all incredibly popular as Country Music stars. But they’ve all had very different experiences with awards shows.
But they’re all excited about the nominations they received on Sept. 9 for the 43rd CMA Awards.
Urban received four nominations: Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Defying Gravity and a shared nomination with Brad Paisley for the Video of the Year for “Start a Band.”
"This is absolutely awe inspiring," Urban said. "I've never loved playing music as much as I have this year. The response to the new album has been divine and, given the crazy times we're in, the celebratory atmosphere and positive energy night after night on this particular tour has been nothing short of a miracle ... and we're not even done yet."
Chesney, who has four CMA trophies for Entertainer of the Year, is nominated again for the same honor, sharing the category with Urban, Brad Paisley, George Strait and Taylor Swift. He is also nominated in the Male Vocalist division and for his collaboration with singer-songwriter Mac McAnally on “Down the Road.”
"The more you do this, the more those nominations mean," Chesney said. "You realize what it takes to receive an honor like this -- especially from your peers who make it happen and know the work and commitment it takes. You've got to be humbled knowing what you do is recognized."
While they were performing in Switzerland, Lady Antebellum heard about their two nominations for Group of the Year and Single of the Year for “I Run to You.”
"Being halfway around the world and hearing that we got two CMA nominations is totally surreal," said band member Charles Kelley. "We're so far from home, but we're also really connected to Nashville because there are so many fans over here who absolutely love country music. Being in the group of the year category is just unbelievable because we feel like we're only getting started. We still have so much to write about and say and do as artists. We honestly will never get used to seeing our name in the same category as the Eagles or Rascal Flatts."
Before joining the Country Music family, Darius Rucker had success as lead vocalist for Hootie & the Blowfish. Now Rucker has received CMA nominations for New Artist and Top Male Vocalist on the heels of several No. 1 singles from his album, Learn to Live.
"Everything with this record has been wild, and this really caps the year we've had with these two honors," Rucker said.
This year's CMA Awards show takes place Nov. 11 at Nashville's Sommet Center and will be broadcast on ABC.