*TAYLOR SWIFT is the lead nominee going into this Sunday night's American Music Awards with six nods, including Artist of the Year. Taylor won't actually be at the show since she's set to perform in London on Monday night.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD is up for Favorite Female Country Artist, and she's also set to perform a song from her new album Play On Sunday night. Favorite Male Country Artist nominee KEITH URBAN will also perform, and RASCAL FLATTS and REBA will be presenters on the American Music Awards, airing live Sunday night at 7:00 PM on ABC.
Here are the country nominees:
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Kings of Leon
FAVORITE POP/ROCK FEMALE ARTIST
FAVORITE POP/ROCK ALBUM
The Fame -- Lady Gaga
Number Ones -- Michael Jackson
Fearless -- Taylor Swift
FAVORITE COUNTRY MALE ARTIST
FAVORITE COUNTRY FEMALE ARTIST
FAVORITE COUNTRY BAND/DUO/GROUP
Zac Brown Band
FAVORITE COUNTRY ALBUM
Unstoppable -- Rascal Flatts
Fearless -- Taylor Swift
The Foundation -- Zac Brown Band
T MOBILE BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST NOMS
Pop/Rock Breakthrough Artist -- Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga
Country Breakthrough Artist -- Gloriana, Zac Brown Band
Soul/R&B Breakthrough Artist -- Keri Hilson, Jeremih
Rap/Hip-Hop Breakthrough Artist -- Drake, Kid Cudi
*TIM McGRAW's movie with SANDRA BULLOCK, The Blind Side, opens nationwide Friday. Tim is thankful that the film's shooting schedule fit in with his busy recording and touring plans. He says, quote, "I was so lucky that something this great and with this quality of people to work with came along at a time I was available to work."
Tim plans to continue making movies, but he's not walking away from his country fans in the process. Tim says, quote, "I'm not gonna give up music 'cause it pays the bills." He adds that a movie role would have to be pretty spectacular for him to cancel touring or recording plans. Once The Blind Side is up and running in theaters, Tim will shift his attention to his upcoming Southern Voice tour, kicking off this February.
*A contest to find people who look like characters from the Peanuts comic strip is now underway, and GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD are taking part. According to Country Weekly, they served on a panel of celebrity judges to help narrow the field down to 30 finalists for the contest, which is being staged to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the legendary comic strip. Voting is now open to the public at PeanutsPhotoContest.com.
*JASON ALDEAN and his wife JESSICA try very hard to let their young daughters know that Jason's job is no different from anyone else's job, but there are some pretty cool perks that come with being the child of a country star. For instance, Jason's six-year-old daughter KEELEY got to meet one of her heroes recently when he played the All for the Hall benefit concert in Nashville. Jason tells TheBoot.com, quote, "She got to meet TAYLOR [SWIFT] and hang out with her for a minute." Jason continues his own tour tonight in Johnson City, Tennessee.
*BILL ANDERSON will be honored on December 12th at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for his songwriting career. He's the latest artist featured in the hall's Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters series. In addition to his own career, Bill has written more recent hits for the likes of BRAD PAISLEY, GEORGE STRAIT and SUGARLAND. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Bonus is Bill.
*JOE NICHOLS and HEIDI NEWFIELD are among the stars playing the Academy of Country Music Stage at the National Finals Rodeo next month in Las Vegas. Starting December 3rd and running through December 12th, the ACM will feature a new country star each night of the rodeo, with DAVID NAIL and newcomers EASTON CORBIN, JOSH THOMPSON and SUNNY SWEENEY among the stars performing. The shows will take place inside the Cox Pavilion at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.