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Lambert, Underwood, Pickler, and Clarkson land ACM nominations

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/04/2008 

Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Kelly Clarkson were all recognized by the Academy of Country Music when nominations for its 43rd annual awards show were announced on Tuesday.

Somewhat surprisingly, it's Lambert and not Underwood who leads the field of female reality stars to receive ACM nods, as the original Nashville Star third-place finisher received three nominations to the Idol fourth-season champ's one. 

Lambert and Underwood both received nods in the Top Female Vocalist category, where they'll face Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes and Taylor Swift.  Underwood has won Top Female Vocalist honors for two consecutive years, a time span which has seen her amass a total of five ACM awards.

Lambert's second album "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" -- which was released last May and peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's country album chart -- also received a nod for Album of the Year, a category that Underwood claimed last year with her debut album "Some Hearts."

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" will face Brad Paisley's "5th Gear," Kenny Chesney's "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates," Rodney Atkins' "If You're Going Through Hell," and Swift's self-titled debut.

In addition, Lambert's single "Famous in a Small Town" received a nod in the Single of the Year category, where it will face Chesney's "Don't Blink," Big & Rich's "Lost In This Moment," Sugarland's "Stay" and Gary Allan's "Watching Airplanes."

Lambert claimed Top New Female Vocalist honors at last year's ACM ceremony, and defeated Pickler in doing so.  However the Idol fifth-season finalist has once again been nominated for Top New Female Vocalist, where she'll face Sarah Buxton and Swift.  Underwood won Top New Female Vocalist honors in 2006.

Rounding out the nominations for female reality stars is original Idol winner Kelly Clarkson, whose "Because of You" duet with Reba McIntyre received a nod in the Vocal Event of the Year category.

The 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.

For the first time in ACM history, online voting will determine who claims Entertainer of the Year.  However the all-male nomination field -- Chesney, Paisley, Rascal Flatts, George Strait and Keith Urban -- means it can't be claimed by a country artist with reality roots.

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