Luke Bryan, Zac Brown among Georgia nominees for 2014 CMA Awards

It might be Luke Bryan’s kind of night when the 48th annual CMA Awards roll around in November.

The Leesburg native is a high-profile nominee among this year’s contenders with nods for entertainer of the year, male vocalist of the year and album of the year for his 2 million-selling “Crash My Party.”

But he’s hardly the only Georgian who might take home a statue or two during the Nov. 5 ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. (The show airs live at 8 p.m. on ABC.)

The vocal group of the year category is heavy on locally bred talent, with Atlanta’s Zac Brown Band trying to score its first CMA since a 2010 win for new artist of the year. They’ll compete against Lady Antebellum, whose Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley boast Augusta roots so strong that the band will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in October.

Lady A is also up for music video of the year for “Bartender,” from the band’s upcoming album, “747.” The clip stars Kate Upton and “Veep” gem Tony Hale.

Also up for vocal group of the year is Little Big Town, a two-time winner in the category that has Georgia ties through members Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild, and the Band Perry, who grew up in Alabama but spent much time in Atlanta crafting their career; the siblings took vocal lessons from “Mama” Jan Smith.

The Eli Young Band, from Texas, rounds out that category.

The new artist of the year hopefuls also include a healthy serving of Georgia. Along with Brandy Clark (from Washington state) and Brett Eldredge (from Illinois) come Tifton’s Kip Moore, Valdosta native Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell, who grew up in Bronwood and graduated from Georgia Southern University.

One of the most high-profile groups attached to Georgia lately is Florida Georgia Line.

One half of the duo, Tyler Hubbard, hails from Monroe (his Florida partner, Bryan Kelley, is from Ormond Beach). The guys will compete for vocal duo of the year against Dan + Shay, Love and Theft, the Swon Brothers and Thompson Square.

Georgia acts aside, Miranda Lambert is this year’s major contender. The sassy singer earned nine nominations, tying her own record for the most of any female artist in the awards’ history.

Along with nods for female vocalist of the year, single and song of the year (for “Automatic”), she’ll compete against Bryan, husband Blake Shelton, veteran George Strait and CMA favorite Keith Urban for the prestigious entertainer of the year crown.

This year’s ceremony will be co-hosted by Brad Paisley and mom-to-be Carrie Underwood for the seventh consecutive year.

For a full list of nominees, visit

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