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ACM Awards Noms Prove Miranda Lambert Is Still Country’s Top Gal

Our Country

Well, country music fans, Miranda Lambert has done it yet again.

Lambert established herself as the new "queen of country" last year with an extraordinary list of recognition from the music industry (country and otherwise), eclipsing all the female artists in a genre that has no shortage of powerful women. And, apparently, she's in no danger of losing her crown this year, either. The nominees for the first major country awards show of 2011 have been announced--the Academy of Country Music Awards--and Lambert yet again has pulled way ahead of the pack, notably fellow blond country megastars Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

Lambert is, as a matter of fact, leading the entire nominees list with seven nods. This tally puts her way beyond Swift (who received four) and Underwood (who notched only one). Most impressively, Lambert received her first ACM nomination for the top prize--entertainer of the year--a category in which she will compete against Swift. She will also be pitted against both Swift and Underwood in the female vocalist of the year category.

Swift and Underwood's low ACM-nom tallies are a bit of a surprise this year. Underwood dominated the ACMs the last two years in a row with consecutive entertainer of the year titles. And Swift has set record after industry record following the release of her third studio album, Speak Now, in October. (To be fair, her nominations include nothing less than entertainer and album of the year; the two categories with most weight.) Swift went home completely empty-handed at last year's ACMs; given the impact of Speak Now it will be startling if this happens again.

All in all, Lambert is nominated in the entertainer, female vocalist, single, song, album, and video categories (she has two entries in the video realm). Runners-up in the nominee tally were Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band, who received five nods each.

Lambert, who announced the nominees in Nashville along with Ronnie Dunn Tuesday morning, expressed disbelief at her latest scoop.

"I didn't even know I was eligible for seven," she told the Associated Press.

The singer barely has time to digest her latest coup before she'll be on to yet another major event--the Grammy Awards on February 13, where she'll be performing as well as crossing her fingers to win three awards.

The ACM Awards will be held April 3 in Las Vegas, and aired live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET. Lambert's fiance, Blake Shelton, will be co-hosting the event along with Reba McEntire.

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