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Chesney, McGraw lead CMT nominees

John Mellencamp, Nelly also among performers to receive nods
/ Source: Billboard

The annual CMT Music Awards always net an eclectic assortment of nominees, and this year is no exception.

In the preliminary round of nominations, R&B artist Nelly lands two, as does rocker John Mellencamp.

Uncle Kracker is on the list, as are actors Rick Schroder and Adrian Pasdar. The latter two each earned nods as directors of country videos.

The nominations reflect the somewhat eclectic nature of CMT's programming itself. The cable channel not only played Nelly's duet with Tim McGraw, “Over and Over,” but also the two clips for which Mellencamp is nominated, “What Say You” (with Travis Tritt) and “Walk Tall.”

Kenny Chesney and McGraw have the most nominations (five each), followed by Big & Rich, Toby Keith and Gretchen Wilson with four apiece. The most-nominated video is Wilson's “Redneck Woman,” which landed four nods.

The preliminary nominees — which include eight in each category — are determined by a panel of U.S. journalists and CMT staffers. The list will be pared down to four finalists per category by viewers who cast votes on Online voters also will choose the winners.

The final list will be announced March 16, and winners will be honored at a two-hour live show in Nashville at 8 p.m. ET on April 11.

Performers will include Chesney, Alan Jackson, Keith, Reba McEntire, Wilson and Big & Rich. Jeff Foxworthy will host the event.