Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood led the nominees for Country Music Television’s 2007 CMT Music Awards with three apiece Wednesday.
Rascal Flatts was nominated for Video of the year for their hit “What Hurts the Most.” The song also was nominated in the group video category along with “Life is a Highway,” the group’s remake of a 1992 Tom Cochrane pop hit.
Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” is up for female video, video of the year and director of the year, while Chesney’s “You Save Me” is nominated for male video, video of the year and director of the year.
The Dixie Chicks received two nominations for the fan-voted awards: video of the year and group video for “Not Ready to Make Nice.”
This is the trio’s first CMT nominations since country radio largely banned them after lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 that they were ashamed President Bush was from their home state of Texas.
The Dixie Chicks recently won the three biggest Grammy awards — song, record and album of the year — but they still don’t get much airplay on country radio.
Other double CMT nominees include Toby Keith (male video and video of the year for “A Little Too Late”), Sugarland (duo video and video of the year for “Want To”), the Wreckers (breakthrough video and duo video for “Leave the Pieces”) and Jason Aldean (breakthrough video and director of the year for “Amarillo Sky”).
This year’s show will include a first-time category called “Wide Open Country,” intended to honor artists from outside mainstream country. Nominees include rockers Sheryl Crow and Sting for their duet “Always on Your Side” and Jimmy Buffett for “Bama Breeze.”
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will host the show, which airs on CMT on April 16. Underwood, Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride and Dierks Bentley are among the scheduled performers.