An astounding run keeps getting better for Lady Antebellum.
Already buoyed by the crossover success of its latest album, the country trio learned it’s up for a leading seven Academy of Country Music Awards when nominations were announced Tuesday, including five for the gravity-defying hit “Need You Now.”
“You always hear about the power of a great song, and there’s no doubt that ’Need You Now’ has definitely been a career-changer for us ... but seven nominations?” Dave Haywood said in a statement released as the band was flying cross country. “We are blown away.”
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are next with six nominations, Taylor Swift has five and Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley each have four.
The Zac Brown Band and its frontman also had a big haul with the band receiving four nominations and Brown taking two more individually.
The nominations were announced by Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton on CBS’ “The Early Show.”
Lady A received nods for top vocal group and album of the year for its debut, “Lady Antebellum,” as well as single record as artist and producer, song as artist and composer and video of the year for “Need You Now.”
The run for Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Haywood started last July when “I Run To You” hit No. 1. The band picked up two Country Music Association Awards in November, both the single “Need You Now” and the album of the same name have exceeded sales expectations and the band picked up a Grammy Award, too.
“Great songs, great music, they’re fresh, they’re new,” McEntire said when asked on air about their platinum popularity. “Their music is totally different and we love it.”
Underwood, Chesney, Swift, Paisley, the Zac Brown Band, George Strait, Keith Urban and Toby Keith are nominated for entertainer of the year, the top honor given out at the April 18 awards in Las Vegas.
Underwood’s going for her second straight entertainer award, one of five categories voted on by fans. She would become the first woman to receive two entertainer awards if she wins again.
She’s also up for what would be a fourth straight top female vocalist award — with Swift, Lambert, McEntire and Lee Ann Womack — and album of the year for “Play On.”
Chesney is going for a fifth entertainer of the year award and is just one of three singers with four wins. He won from 2005-08 before Underwood ended his run.
He’s nominated in the top male vocalist category with Paisley, who’s won three straight, George Strait, Keith Urban and Darius Rucker.
Lambert is fresh off the success of her first No. 1 song, “White Liar,” which netted her three nominations. She also is up for album of the year for the highly regarded “Revolution.”
“She’s blown away,” said Lambert’s boyfriend, Shelton, who also is nominated in the vocal event category for his “Hillbilly Bone” collaboration with Trace Adkins.
“I think she’s on Cloud 9. It’s one thing to get a nomination here or there. It’s another thing whenever you dominate the nominations. She and Lady Antebellum I think did that.”
The Zac Brown Band, last year’s top new vocal group and a recent Grammy winner for best new artist, was nominated for top vocal group, album for “The Foundation” and single record for “Toes.” Brown also is up as a producer for the album and single record nominations.
Along with entertainer of the year, fans cast votes on the Internet for top new solo vocalist, top new vocal group and top new vocal duo. The winners in those categories then vie for top new artist, which also is voted on by fans.
The nominees for top new solo vocalist are Luke Bryan, Jamey Johnson and Chris Young. Bomshel, Joey + Rory and Steel Magnolia are up for top new vocal duo and the Eli Young Band, Gloriana and The Lost Trailers vie for top new vocal group.