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[04/01/10 - 10:26 AM]
Country Music Fans Have the Power to Vote Online for the "45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards" Entertainer of the Year and Top New Artist
Plus: Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban have been added to perform.

[via press release from CBS]

COUNTRY MUSIC FANS HAVE THE POWER TO VOTE ONLINE FOR THE "45TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS" ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR AND TOP NEW ARTIST, TO BE ANNOUNCED ON THE LIVE BROADCAST APRIL 18 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Beginning Today, Fans Can Log on to http://www.voteacm.com/ to Vote for

Entertainer of the Year from Nominees Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band (in a Vote Powered by Ram Truck Brand); and for Top New Artist from Nominees Luke Bryan, Gloriana and Joey + Rory

Keith, Paisley, Swift and Urban will Perform, in Addition to Previously Announced Entertainer of the Year Nominated Performers Chesney and Underwood

Beginning today, fans can vote for the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer of the Year and the Top New Artist by logging onto http://www.voteacm.com/. The winners will be announced on the 45TH ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, to be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 18 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Nominees Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band will vie for Entertainer of the Year in fan voting (powered by Ram Truck Brand). Additionally, for the first time, fans can vote for the Top New Artist from nominees Luke Bryan, Gloriana and Joey + Rory (who have already been named Top New Solo Vocalist, Top New Vocal Group and Top New Vocal Duo, respectively). Fans can cast their vote for Top New Artist through the start of the live broadcast, and for Entertainer of the Year into the third hour of the show.

Entertainer of the Year nominees Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban have been added to perform, in addition to previously announced Entertainer of the Year nominees Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES:

Kenny Chesney is nominated for four awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. If he wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his fifth win in the category. He is currently one of only three acts in Academy history to achieve four wins for Entertainer of the Year. He is also nominated as an artist and producer for Vocal Event of the Year for "I'm Alive," with multi-platinum recording artist Dave Matthews.

Toby Keith is nominated for Entertainer of the Year. He previously won the category twice - first in 2002 and then again the following year. Keith has won 10 ACM Awards, including two wins for both Top Male Vocalist and Album of the Year.

Brad Paisley is nominated for four awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. Paisley is the reigning Top Male Vocalist and, if Paisley wins the category, it will be his fourth consecutive Top Male Vocalist title. Paisley is also nominated for Album of the Year for American Saturday Night and for Video of the Year for "Welcome to the Future." Paisley won the 2005 Album of the Year for Time Well Wasted.

George Strait is nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. If Strait wins Entertainer of the Year, it will be his second win in that category (he also won the award in 1989). Last year, Strait was named the Academy of Country Music's Artist of the Decade and was honored in a television special. Strait is the most-nominated artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards with a total of 83 nominations, which includes 20 wins.

Taylor Swift is nominated for five awards, including her first nod for Entertainer of the Year. If Swift wins Entertainer of the Year, she will be the eighth female in Academy history to win in this category. Swift is nominated as an artist and composer for Song of the Year for "You Belong with Me," for which she is also nominated for Video of the Year and she also received a nomination for Top Female Vocalist. In 2009, Swift made history as the Academy's youngest-ever winner for Album of the Year when she was honored as both artist and producer for Fearless. She was also honored last year with the ACM Crystal Milestone Award for career achievement.

Carrie Underwood is nominated for six awards, including Entertainer of Year. Underwood is the reigning Entertainer of the Year, and if she wins that category again, she will be the first female in Academy history to capture two Entertainer of the Year trophies. Underwood is also nominated as an artist and composer for Song of the Year for "Cowboy Casanova," as well as Vocal Event of the Year for "I Told You So," with Randy Travis. In addition, Underwood is nominated for Top Female Vocalist and Album of the Year for Play On. If she wins Top Female Vocalist, it will be the fourth consecutive year she has won the category. Underwood also won the 2006 Album of the Year for Some Hearts.

Keith Urban is nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. Urban is a six-time ACM award winner, including Top Male Vocalist in 2004 and 2005, Album of the Year in 2004 and Top New Male Vocalist in 2000.

Zac Brown Band is nominated for four awards, including Entertainer of the Year, which is their first nomination in the category. If Zac Brown Band wins Entertainer of the Year, they will be the third vocal group in Academy history ever to win the award. Zac Brown Band is also nominated for Album of the Year for The Foundation, Single Record of the Year for "Toes," and Top Vocal Group. They are the reigning Top New Vocal Group. Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band also received two additional individual nominations as the producer for both Album of the Year for The Foundation d Single Record of the Year for "Toes."

TOP NEW ARTIST NOMINEES:

Luke Bryan, Gloriana and Joey + Rory were previously chosen by country fans at GACTV.com as winners of the ACM New Artist Awards, announced on March 16, 2010. The three winners are now nominees for the Top New Artist award.

Top New Solo Vocalist winner Luke Bryan released his sophomore album, Doin' My Thing, on Capitol Records Nashville in October 2009, debuting at number two on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The CD includes his number one gold single, "Do I," and new smash hit, "Rain Is A Good Thing." Bryan is currently headlining his own dates as well as opening for Jason Aldean on the "Wide Open Tour" and will be a featured act on Miranda Lambert's upcoming spring tour. This is Bryan's first win for an Academy of Country Music Award.

Top New Vocal Group winner Gloriana's self-titled album debuted at number two on the Billboard Country Album Chart and number three on Billboard's Top 200 and was the best selling debut by a country group in 2009. It includes hit singles "Wild At Heart," "How Far Do You Wanna Go?" and their current single "The World Is Ours Tonight." The group, who won the fan-voted Breakthrough Artist Award at the American Music Awards, is currently on tour with Taylor Swift. Gloriana is a four-member vocal group featuring brothers Tom and Mike Gossin along with Rachel Reinert and Cheyenne Kimball. This is Gloriana's first nomination and first win for an Academy of Country Music Award.

Winner of Top New Vocal Duo, Joey + Rory, have a huge year ahead of them. They have already started on a U.S. arena tour and will release their sophomore album, simply titled Album #2, in the summer. Husband and wife Joey + Rory started performing as a duo for the audition of the CMT series, "Can You Duet," in early 2008. This is their first win for an Academy of Country Music Award.

The 45TH ANNUAL Academy of Country Music Awards is dedicated to honoring and showcasing the biggest names and emerging talent in the country music industry. The show is produced for television by dick clark productions. Orly Adelson and R.A. Clark are executive producers, Barry Adelman is the producer, Bob Bardo serve as the executive in charge of production and Bob Romeo is the executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.





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