By MARIA SHERMAN
AP Music Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s another landmark year for breakout country superstar Lainey Wilson, who tops the CMA Awards nominations for the second year in a row.
Wilson was a first-time nominee in 2022, which means she’s made history in 2023 — becoming the first and only artist to top the nominations list in her first two appearances on the ballot.
Last year, she claimed six nominations. This year, Wilson is up to nine, for album, song, music video, entertainer and female vocalist of the year, as well as two separate nominations in both the single of the year category (for “Heart Like a Truck” and her contributions to HARDY’s “wait in the truck”) and the musical event of the year category (once again for “wait in the truck” and her feature on Jelly Roll ‘s “Save Me.”)
She now ties Merle Haggard and Miranda Lambert for scoring nine nominations in one year — just behind Alan Jackson, who set the record at 10 nods in 2002.
Wilson is followed by first-time nominee Jelly Roll, who boasts five nominations, and Luke Combs and HARDY, with four each.
But Combs or HARDY could take home six trophies, should they sweep their categories.
In addition to nominations in the entertainer and male vocalist of the year categories, Combs is the performer and a producer on his smash-hit cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which is nominated in the single of the year category. He also performed and co-produced his latest release, “Gettin’ Old,” which is nominated for album of the year.
At the Country Music Awards, production credits are not counted as separate nominations, although they are factored into trophy counts.
It is a similar case for HARDY: The artist is nominated for “Wait in the Truck” in both the single and musical event of the year categories, a song he both performs and produced.
As for the other major categories: Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen round out the entertainer of the year nominees; Megan Moroney’s “Tennessee Orange” and Jordan Davis’ “Next Thing You Know” complete the song of the year category.
The 2023 CMA Awards will air on Nov. 8 on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern.