Brad Paisley, Sugarland lead in CMT nominees

Chris Kallio

Courtesy Universal Music

Credit: Ron Soltys

After final voting for the 2008 Country Music Television Music Awards nominees broke records with 2 million votes cast, Brad Paisley and Sugarland led the nominees with a total of four each. They were followed by Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift and Trace Adkins sharing three nominations each.

The final nominations were announced on March 7.

After a four-year break, Billy Ray Cyrus received his first nomination with “Ready, Set, Don’t Go,” a duet with his daughter Miley Cyrus; the two will serve as hosts for this year’s ceremony.

The nominations include Underwood for Female Video of the Year (for “So Small”), Paisley for Male Video of the Year (for “Online”), Big and Rich for Duo Video of the Year (for “Lost in This Moment”) and Luke Bryan for USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year (for “All My Friends Say”). Collaborative Video of the Year, Performance of the Year, Supporting Character of the Year, Tearjerker of the Year, and Comedy Video of the Year are new categories for the CMTs.

Actor Jason Alexander is nominated for Supporting Character of the Year for his role as a Paisley-idolizing geek in the video “Online,” which he also directed, and is nominated for Video of the Year. The video also features William Shatner, Estelle Harris and Maureen McCormick.

Unlike most awards show, the CMT’s, established in 2002, is a fan-voted show. Fans have the opportunity to vote for their favorites through April 11 to determine the winners. Past winners include Underwood (last year’s big winner with awards for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Before He Cheats”), Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Jack Ingram.

The CMT awards ceremony will air live from Nashville’s Curb Event Center at Belmont University at 8 p.m. Monday, on CMT and Performances will include Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Toby Keith, as well as Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus.

Contact all reporter Chris Kallio at [email protected].