A week after Taylor Swift said she's now a full-time pop star, Nashville decided to lure the singer back into her country boots for one last yeehaw.
On Nov. 5, Swift will compete for female vocalist of the year at the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards, nominations for which were announced Wednesday. Swift — who's trumpeting upcoming LP 1989 as an "official" pop switcheroo — will compete against tried-and-true cowgirls Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood.
The CMAs, which will be held at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and hosted once again by Brad Paisley and Underwood, are country's ultimate showcase — never mind that there are 87 other country awards shows.
The mondo CMA prize is entertainer of the year, where you won't find Swift's name this year. Instead, shotgun-toting heartbreaker Lambert will compete against hubby Blake Shelton, lord of the frat boys Luke Bryan, shaggy Keith Urban and "King" George Strait. (Strait has now been nominated for a CMA a record 83 times. Wow.)
Male vocalist of the year should be a good barroom brawl, too, with irascible outlaw Eric Church dueling far more commercial dudes Bryan, Shelton, Urban and Dierks Bentley.
I'll offer my full slate of wobbly predictions closer to show night, but I'll tell you right now that I'm absolutely torn when it comes to album of the year. Church's The Outsiders and Lambert's Platinum aren't just the two top country albums, they're two of the best albums in any genre. If I had to choose now, I'd go with Platinum, which is pretty close to perfect, but don't hold me to it just yet, okay?
For a full list of CMA nominations, go to cmaworld.com.
Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife.