NASHVILLE - Kenny Chesney’s steamy duet, You and Tequila with Grace Potter, continues to radiate heat.
The song helped Chesney to nine Academy of Country Music Awards nominations Thursday, including the top honor of entertainer of the year. Jason Aldean, next with six nominations, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton and 2011 winner Taylor Swift round out the fan-voted category.
Lady Antebellum has five nominations, Paisley has four and several are deadlocked at three, including Swift.
Nominees were announced via social media with the help of stars like Reba McEntire and Lionel Richie. Fans were chosen to announce the entertainer of the year candidates. They’ll have a chance to pick the winner in that category and new artist of the year for the 47th annual ACM Awards, which will air live April 1 from Las Vegas on CBS with McEntire and Shelton hosting.
Chesney is a four-time entertainer of the year winner and was the first victor under the academy’s current fan-voted format. He’s nominated for a 10th time in the male vocalist category and received double nominations as artist and producer for album of the year for Hemingway’s Whiskey and single record of the year and vocal event of the year for You and Tequila. He also receives a song of the year nomination as performer on You and Tequila, written by Matraca Berg and Deana Carter.
Potter, best known as an indie rock performer with her band The Nocturnals, received three nominations for the collaboration.
Aldean also is up for male vocalist, album of the year for My Kinda Party, single record and vocal event of the year for the duet Don’t You Wanna Stay with Kelly Clarkson, and video of the year for Tattoos on This Town.
Lady Antebellum will compete for its third straight vocal group of the year win. The trio of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley also is up for album of the year for Own the Night as artist and producer, and both song and video of the year for Just a Kiss.
Haywood and Kelley grew up in Columbia County and graduated from Lakeside High School. The band performed in October at the new Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans. They also are scheduled to perform May 22-23 at the James Brown Arena. Tickets for the May 22 show are sold out, but some still are available for May 23.
Along with his fifth straight entertainer nomination, Paisley will be going for another win in the male vocalist category. He’s won it five times in a row. He also scored a double nomination in the vocal event category for Old Alabama with Alabama and Remind Me with Carrie Underwood.
Eric Church’s CHIEF and Miranda Lambert’s Four the Record round out the album of the year category. Lady A won last year for its breakthrough Need You Now.
Nominees for the new artist of the year will be announced after the close of online voting Jan. 30. Fans are currently picking the nominees in that category from a list of eight semifinalists.
Fans can begin voting at the ACM Web site for entertainer and new artist nominees on March 19. The other award winners are picked by the academy’s membership.