Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, and Maren Morris Lead the Pack with Five CMA Nominations Each

The 2016 CMA nominations were announced yesterday, and things were pretty spread out.  Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, and Maren Morris picked up five each, while Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, and Keith Urban got four apiece.

Hard to believe it took this long, but Carrie got her first CMA Entertainer of the Year nomination, as did Chris Stapleton.  They’re up against GARTH BROOKS, Keith Urban, and returning champ LUKE BRYAN, who’s won it the last two years.

The biggest surprise has to be Maren Morris.  She scored nominations for New Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.  And her song “My Church” is up for Best Single and Best Song . . . plus, “Hero” is up for Album of the Year.

JOEY + RORY got a Vocal Duo nomination.

Someone huge always gets shutout and this year it’s Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, and Jason Aldean.  Let’s blame it on stiff competition.

CARRIE UNDERWOOD and BRAD PAISLEY are back hosting for the ninth year in a row.  “The 50th Annual CMA Awards”are going down November 2nd on ABC.