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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Strait leads country awards field
George Strait
Strait is one of the most successful country artists
George Strait and Brad Paisley lead the field at this year's US Country Music Association Awards with five nominations apiece.

Both musicians are nominated in the entertainer of the year category, along with Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and last year's winner, Kenny Chesney.

They also compete for male vocalist of the year. Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire are up for the female prize.

The 41st CMA awards will be presented on 7 November in Nashville, Tennessee.

Veteran musician Strait had his first hit in 1981, and notched up his 55th number one single this year.

Relative newcomer Paisley said he was honoured to share the spotlight with the country music legend.

"Had he not existed, I don't know who I would be," said the singer. "He's one of the reasons I wear a cowboy hat."

Chicks come back

Paisley's other nominations come in the album, single and music video categories while Strait is up for best album, musical event and single.

The Dixie Chicks received their first nomination since 2001 in the vocal group of the year category.

The group have had a troubled relationship with the country music industry since singer Natalie Maines made derogatory comments about President Bush in 2003.

The Chicks go up against Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Emerson Drive, Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts.

Singer-songwriter Martina McBride received four nominations, including female vocalist of the year and song of the year for her single Anyway.

Kenny Chesney also makes the shortlist four times - with potential prizes in the music video and musical event of the year categories.

Best album nominations were 5th Gear by Brad Paisley, Just Comes Natural by George Strait, Long Trip Alone by Dierks Bentley, Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing by Keith Urban and These Days Vince Gill.

Chesney takes top country award
16 May 07 |  Entertainment
Stars line up for country awards
16 Apr 07 |  Entertainment

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