2011 ACM Nominations: Snubs and Flubs

Last Tuesday saw the announcement of the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards nominations and they were filled with plenty of surprises and shake ups including superstars getting shut out as well as a few out-of-left-field nominees in the big categories. Like we’ve done with the past few awards nominations, we’ll offer our reaction to the nominees including each category’s “flubs and snubs” so keep reading to see what we have to say about this year’s crop of nominees.

This year’s leading nominee is, not surprisingly, Miranda Lambert as she scores seven nominations including her first ACM Entertainer of the Year nomination as well as multiple nominations for her number one smash, “The House That Built Me.” Speaking of the Entertainer category, this year the Academy opted to only include six nominations instead of eight like the 2010 nominations offered. That meant that two artists would get the ax, and the reigning Entertainer of the Year, Carrie Underwood, was one of those left off the list. Here are the complete nominations and our analysis of each category.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Toby Keith
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Brad Paisley
  • Taylor Swift
  • Keith Urban

Snub: After winning last year in a year where she wasn’t the most deserving nominee, Carrie Underwood came back with a successful tour and continued to have strong chart success, but was left out of the running this year when she actually deserved a nomination. Lady Antebellum has been on top of the country world and should have nabbed a nomination in this category this year especially after having huge chart success and a great headlining tour.

Flub: Toby Keith hasn’t had the big chart success that he’s been accustomed to, but he did manage to have a decent tour with Trace Adkins. However, Carrie and Lady A had bigger years than Keith in 2010.

Sidenote: Glad to see Jason Aldean finally gaining respect from the industry and earning his first major awards nomination.

Top Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Brad Paisley
  • Blake Shelton
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban

Snub: Kenny Chesney scored five nominations this year including Single Record, Song, and Album of the Year but couldn’t secure a nomination in this category. This is the first time since 1999 that Chesney isn’t included in the nominees for Male Vocalist.

Flub: George Strait is definitely a country music legend and is no doubt the King of Country Music, but 2010 wasn’t his year. There were plenty of other artists that had bigger years including Chesney, Easton Corbin, and Dierks Bentley, that were all more deserving of securing a spot in the final five.

Sidenote: Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton are enjoying their first nominations in this category and are the two frontrunners to take home the award come awards night.

Top Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Lee Ann Womack

Sidenote: Same lineup as last year with no snubs or flubs to report.

Top Vocal Duo of the Year

  • The JaneDear Girls
  • Joey + Rory
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Steel Magnolia
  • Sugarland

Snub: Thompson Square have a hit single on their hands and have made a greater impact on the charts than nominee The JaneDear Girls. The husband/wife duo should’ve taken the place of Brooks & Dunn.

Top Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • The Band Perry
  • Zac Brown Band

Snub: The obvious snub in this category is Rascal Flatts. The superstar group has had huge impact on the charts with their smash “Why Wait” as well as with sales of their latest album, Nothing Like This. Even though they weren’t the top group in 2010, they definitely should’ve been included in the final five groups.

Flub: The Randy Rogers Band continues to impress Academy voters and are once again nominated in this category without a major album release or a hit single.

Top New Solo Vocalist of the Year

  • Eric Church
  • Easton Corbin
  • Randy Houser

Snub: Jerrod Niemann scored a number one single this year as well as a number one album, that’s one more single and album than Randy Houser.

Flub: Eric Church released his debut album nearly four years ago in 2006 and is still considered “new” by the Academy. I think changes need to be made to the eligibility critera for the New Artist awards.

Top New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year

  • The JaneDear Girls
  • Steel Magnolia
  • The Band Perry

Snub: Thompson Square once again should’ve landed a nomination in this category over The JaneDear Girls.

Album of the Year

  • Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kenny Chesney
  • Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
  • The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson
  • Speak Now – Taylor Swift
  • Up on the Ridge – Dierks Bentley
  • You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band

Snub: Easton Corbin’s debut album includes 12 fantastic songs from the newcomer and should’ve been included among the nominees.

Single Record of the Year

  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin
  • “As She’s Walking Away” – Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson
  • “If I Die Young” – The Band Perry
  • “Love Like Crazy” – Lee Brice
  • “The Boys of Fall” – Kenny Chesney
  • “The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert\

Snub: Carrie Underwood hit number one with two singles, “Undo It” and “Temporary Home,” as well as number two with “Mama’s Song.” It’s a bit surprising that none of those three singles landed a nomination this year.

Flub: Easton Corbin deserved a nomination in this category but not for “A Little More Country Than That” but instead should’ve been nominated for “Roll With It” which was among the top 10 country songs of 2010.

Song of the Year

  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin [written by Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress,Wynn Varble]
  • “As She’s Walking Away” – Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson [written by Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette]
  • “If I Die Young” – The Band Perry [written by Kimberly Perry]
  • “Love Like Crazy” – Lee Brice [written by Tim James and Doug Johnson]
  • “The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert [written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin]

Snub: Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall” was one of his finest songs lyrically and melodically and should’ve been included in this category.

Flub: “Love Like Crazy” deserved a spot in the Single Record of the Year category but it’s average lyrics wasn’t good enough to be included here.

Video of the Year

  • “Hillbilly Bone” – Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
  • “Only Prettier” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Stuck Like Glue” – Sugarland
  • “The Boys of Fall” – Kenny Chesney
  • “The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert

Flub: Blake Shelton continues to ride the waves of “Hillbilly Bone” even a year after winning the Vocal Event trophy for the song last year.

Vocal Event of the Year

  • “As She’s Walking Away” – Zac Brown Band featuring Alan Jackson
  • “Blue Sky” – Emily West featuring Keith Urban
  • “Coal Miner’s Daughter” – Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, and Miranda Lambert
  • “Cold Beer” – Colt Ford featuring Jamey Johnson
  • “Good To Be Me” – Uncle Kracker featuring Kid Rock

Snub: Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson’s “Don’t You Wanny Stay?” was released in November, yet was overlook by songs by Colt Ford and Uncle Kracker?! Hopefully it gets nominated next year.

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