By KRISTIN M. HALL, Associated Press
NASHVILLE (AP) - Little Big Town crushed it with their song "Girl Crush" and are tied with Eric Church with five nominations each at this year's Country Music Association Awards.
In the nominations announced Wednesday, the four-part vocal group rode the success of the song to nominations for album of the year for "Pain Killer"; vocal group; musical event for a duet with Miranda Lambert; music video and single of the year. The songwriters for "Girl Crush," Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey, also received a nomination for song of the year.
Church earned his first nomination for entertainer of the year and was also nominated for male vocalist, single, song and musical event of the year for a duet with Keith Urban.
Kenny Chesney earned four nominations including entertainer, single, musical event and album for "The Big Revival," which he also produced. Lambert also earned four nominations for entertainer, female vocalist, musical event and music video. Also nominated in the CMA's top award, entertainer of the year, were Garth Brooks and Luke Bryan, who also got a nod for male vocalist.
Singer-songwriters stood out in this year's nominations with Kacey Musgraves, Sam Hunt, Chris Stapleton and Maddie & Tae all receiving three nominations.
It was also a good year for new and emerging acts as four artists debuted in the new artist category who also earned nominations in other categories for the first time. The new artist category includes Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Thomas Rhett, Stapleton and Kelsea Ballerini, who helped announce the nominations with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard got a nomination for musical event of the year for their album, "Django and Jimmie."
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will host the Nov. 4 awards show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The show will air on ABC.
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