When the nominees for the 44th Annual CMA Awards were announced earlier this month, many fans were surprised to see two names missing from the Entertainer of the Year category; Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood.
Chesney, who took a year off touring for the first time in well over a decade, says that he didn’t deserve the honor.
“I knew taking a year off that there was the possibility of not being nominated for things we’re used to being nominated for,” Chesney tells The Tennessean. “So I wasn’t surprised not to be nominated, and I didn’t think I deserved to be. I didn’t tour, and that’s been the thing that made me believe someone deserved it most: touring. If that’s my theory, then I can’t say I deserve the nomination when I don’t tour.”
Many Carrie Underwood fans wanted her to get a nomination for Entertainer of the Year and Carrie says she did too.
“I’d like to see that, too,” Underwood recently told the Associated Press. “I’m not going to lie.”
“They love their girl,” Carrie said of her fans in a recent interview with Big D & Bubba. “They're classy. They're protective. … We're family.”
Although she admits she’d like to see her name up in the EOTY category, Underwood says she’s happy for everyone who was nominated.
“Every single year it’s all about celebrating a great year in country music because every single year it just gets better and better and stronger and stronger,” she said. “I’m excited about my nominations and I think it’s going to be a good night for a lot of people.”
So who really deserves to win the coveted Entertainer of the Year Award?
According to the offical CMA Awards criteria, “This Award is for the act displaying the greatest competence in all aspects of the entertainment field. Voter should give consideration not only to recorded performance, but also to the in-person performance, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership, and overall contribution to the Country Music image. Award to artist.” This year’s EOTY nominees are Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.
The 44th Annual CMA Awards will air live on ABC on November 10 at 8pm EST.