Eric Church (Photo: Lester Cohen)The nominations for the 48th annual Academy of Country Music Awards have been announced, and Eric Church is 2013’s lead nominee, with seven nods to his name—including the prestigious album of the year category for his platinum-selling Chief.
Church is also up for male vocalist, single, song (as both writer and performer), video of the year, and vocal event of the year.
He didn’t make the top category of entertainer of the year, however. Competing for the night’s ultimate honor are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, and—interestingly—Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, who will compete against each other as spouses.
Directly following Church in nominations is the recently Grammy-nominated Hunter Hayes, with six nods. Lambert and Swift tie for third place with five each.
Shelton and Lambert aren’t the only couple directly competing against each other this year. Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer—who are engaged to be married—go head-to-head in the new artist category.
For a complete list of nominees, check here.
Starting on March 25, fans will be able to vote and help choose the entertainer and new artist winners. The 2013 ACM Awards will air live from Las Vegas April 7 on CBS.