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The 2010 AMA Nominees: Country Music Rules (Again)

Our Country

The nominees for the 2010 American Music Awards have been announced, and for the second year in a row, country music is ruling another award-show roost--claiming one of the artists tied for the most nominations, as well as crossing over into other genres on the nomination list.

Who's this year's Nashville star? The unstoppable Lady Antebellum, who scooped up five nods--putting them in a tie with iconic rapper Eminem. The critically acclaimed trio is up for favorite band in both the country and pop/rock music categories, favorite country album for Need You Now, favorite adult contemporary artist, and breakthrough artist.

And, what's with the two-years-in-a-row business? Well, in 2009, Taylor Swift made a similar show for country music; receiving six total nominations in pop, adult contemporary, and overall all-genre categories as well as the country ones. She was pitted against no less legendary opponents than Michael Jackson (who had passed away just a few months before nominations were announced) and Lady Gaga. She managed to beat both of them (save Jackson's win in the pop/rock album category) and prevailed as the all-genre artist of the year.

Although not up against anyone quite as formidable as Swift faced last year--and, unfortunately, not up for the prime award of artist of the year--Lady A will have its own challenges. The most particularly difficult seems to be the pop/rock band category, where they will be facing down the Black Eyed Peas, who took the award home in 2009.

The band's own home territory is proving to be stiff competition as well. In the country band category they are nominated alongside recent Billboard 200 chart-toppers the Zac Brown Band and perennial favorites Rascal Flatts. For favorite country album, Carrie Underwood's Play On is going to be tough to beat.

The breakthrough artist of the year award may also be somewhat of a crapshoot for Lady A, as several platinum heavyweights (Justin Bieber, Ke$ha) are represented. Incidentally, country quartet Gloriana won the breakthrough artist award last year, so if Lady A wins this year, it will be yet another repeat score for country overall.

Not a bad show whatsoever for country music, a genre that just cannot seem to stop getting bigger and bigger. Good work, Lady A, we're rooting for ya!

The 38th annual AMA ceremony will be held November 21 at Los Angeles's Nokia Theatre and broadcast on ABC. The awards are fan-determined--who are your choices to win? Be sure to let me know!

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