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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 10:23 GMT
Chesney leads country award field
Kenny Chesney
Chesney was briefly married to Hollywood actress Renee Zellweger
Singer Kenny Chesney is leading the way at the 43rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards with 11 nominations, including entertainer of the year.

The star is also up for top male vocalist, song and video of the year for Don't Blink.

If Chesney gets entertainer of the year - the most coveted trophy - it will be his fourth straight win.

For the first time, fans can vote for the winner of the entertainer gong. The show takes place in Las Vegas in May.

Chesney's other nominations included two nods in the album of the year category for singing and producing Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates.

I just try to be the kinda artist I wanted to see when I was coming up
Kenny Chesney
He also received two nominations for single record of the year for singing and producing Don't Blink.

"I just try to be the kinda artist I wanted to see when I was coming up," he said.

"To me, if you remember who you are, sing songs that speak to that and pay attention to the fans, that's all I can hope for. Seeing those people every night, I don't think I could do anything less."

Chesney, the former husband of actress Renee Zellweger, also received a double nomination for singing and producing Shift Work in the vocal event of the year category.

In the same category, his work with Tracy Lawrence and Tim McGraw on Find Out Who Your Friends Are also made the shortlist.

'Big leagues'

Rodney Atkins received six nominations, including top male vocalist.

"It's amazing to have your name mentioned with these guys like George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley," he said. "It's going to take a while to sink in."

Atkins's other nominations included song of the year and video of the year for Watching You and album of the year for If You're Going through Hell, which he also co-produced.

"It's nice to be noticed, kind of like getting to step into the big leagues. It's what you always hope for," he added.

Brad Paisley, Big & Rich and Sugarland all received four nominations each.

SEE ALSO
Chesney wins country music award
08 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Strait leads country awards field
31 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Stars line up for country awards
16 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
Chesney explains marriage 'fraud'
16 Feb 07 |  Entertainment

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