Taylor Swift is almost — but not quite — completely gone from the country music world. The pop superstar scored one major nomination for the Country Music Association Awards in the Female Vocalist of the Year category — but lost out on the big prize, Entertainer of the Year.
The CMA Awards, the most prestigious of Nashville’s multiple award shows, released a list of nominees for the top five categories on “Good Morning America” Wednesday morning. The Entertainer of the Year category, the crown jewel of the night, includes Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait and Keith Urban — but two-time winner Swift is nowhere to be found.
That’s not too shocking, given that Swift announced a few weeks ago that her upcoming project, “1989,” will be her “first documented, official pop album.” That likely didn’t please CMA voters; even though her last album, “Red,” was predominantly pop and she still landed a nomination (though she lost to George Strait).
While this isn’t the first time Swift has been left out of the category — she was nowhere to be found in 2010 — the big question was if country music would wish her farewell with a trophy.
Not so much. If anything, there was already some side-eye about giving Swift a Female Vocalist of the Year nod, among the likes of Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves and Martina McBride. (Hey, Swift’s still a superstar who brings the viewers — they’re not going to shut her out completely.)
“And Taylor Swift’s in that category as well,” co-host Robin Roberts told Darius Rucker and quartet Little Big Town, who announced the nominees on “GMA,” as they discussed the nominations. “What do you think about that?”
Awkward silence and chuckles as scenes from Swift’s new single “Shake It Off” played on screen. No answer. Roberts quickly moved on.
For what it’s worth, Swift’s Big Machine record label president Scott Borchetta recently acknowledged in a radio interview that Swift’s time in the country arena was likely up, especially with her big pop announcement.
“She probably shouldn’t be up for country entertainer of the year this year,” Borchetta said on “The Bobby Bones Show.” Borchetta noted that Swift didn’t tour the United States this year. Still, he added, there were other years when she should have won (last year perhaps?) — but did not.
Another notable shut out? Hugely popular and perennial nominee Jason Aldean, who got a grand total of zero nods this time. His last album wasn’t eligible in the CMA voting period, but he released several singles this year that went to the top of the charts. Plus, he’s been playing to baseball stadium crowds this summer on a giant tour. It’s a mystery, and it seems unlikely that voters really care about all the drama in his personal life.
Other news: Nashville award shows continue to love Miranda Lambert, as she scored eight nominations — at least one in every single category where she was eligible. Keith Urban’s latest album was a hit with voters as he scored nods for entertainer, male vocalist, album and vocal event. Even Eric Church landed quite a few nominations.
As usual, male artists are a much larger presence than female singers on the list, though Brandy Clark did get a surprise nomination for Best New Artist (among Kip Moore, Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell and Thomas Rhett). And Kacey Musgraves was rewarded with a Song of the Year nod for her controversial “Follow Your Arrow,” which could barely get any radio play.
Here’s the full list of nominations:
Entertainer of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Vocal Duo Of The Year
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Love & Theft
The Swon Brothers
New Artist Of The Year
Album of the Year
“Crash My Party,” Luke Bryan
“Fuse,” Keith Urban
“Platinum,” Miranda Lambert
“Riser,” Dierks Bentley
“The Outsiders,” Eric Church
Single of the Year
“Automatic” Miranda Lambert
“Drunk On A Plan” Dierks Bentley
“Give Me Back My Hometown” Eric Church
“Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” Tim McGraw ft. Faith Hill
“Mine Would Be You” Blake Shelton
Song Of The Year
“Automatic” Miranda Lambert (written by Miranda Lambert, Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby)
“Follow Your Arrow” Kacey Musgraves (written by Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally)
“Give Me Back My Hometown” Eric Church (written by Eric Church and Luke Laird)
“I Don’t Dance” Lee Brice (written by Lee Brice, Dallas Davidson and Rob Hatch)
“I Hold On” Dierks Bentley (written by Dierks Bentley and Brett James)
Vocal Event Of The Year
“Bakersfield,” Vince Gill and Paul Franklin
“Meanwhile Back At Mama’s,” Tim McGraw ft. Faith Hill
“Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood
“We Were Us,” Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert
“Can’t Make Old Friends,” Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
Video Of The Year
“Automatic” Miranda Lambert (directed by Trey Fanjoy)
“Bartender” Lady Antebellum (directed by Shane Drake)
“Drunk on a Plane” Dierks Bentley (directed by Wes Edwards)
“Follow Your Arrow” Kacey Musgraves (directed by Kacey Musgraves and Honey)
“Somethin’ Bad” Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert (directed by Trey Fanjoy)
Musician Of The Year
Sam Bush, mandolin
Jerry Douglas, dobro
Paul Franklin, steel guitar
Dann Huff, guitar
Mac MacAnally, guitar