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Underwood, Pickler, Lambert, and Young all land ACM nominations


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/07/2007 

Several former reality TV contestants are making their mark in the world of country music.

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American Idol 4 winner Carrie Underwood, Idol 5 finalist Kellie Pickler, first season Nashville Star third-place finisher Miranda Lambert and Nashville Star 4 winner Chris Young were all nominated for 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards on Monday.

Underwood, who won two Grammys in mid-February and captured two ACM Awards last spring, received a total of five 2007 ACM nominations in the following categories: top female vocalist; album of the year for "Some Hearts;" as well as single of the year, song of the year, and video of the year for "Before He Cheats." 

"Some Hearts," Underwood's debut album, has sold more than 5 million copies since it was released in November 2005.  "Before He Cheats" -- the third song to be released as a single from "Some Hearts" -- hit radios in August 2006 and peaked at No. 16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Country Singles chart.

"I feel like I'm still in a dream," Underwood told The Associated Press upon learning of her 2007 ACM nominations.  "My life has been such a whirlwind in the past two years, so please don't wake me up."

In the top female vocalist category Underwood will be competing against Lambert, who despite finishing third on the first season of Nashville Star has probably been the series' biggest success story.  She landed a record deal with Sony BMG and saw her debut album "Kerosene" top Billboard's Country Albums chart when it was released in 2005.  The debut album has since sold more than a million copies and its title track was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Lambert was also nominated for top new female vocalist, an award that will pit her against former Idol 5 finalist Kellie Pickler.  Pickler's debut album "Small Town Girl" was released last Halloween after she signed a recording contract with BNA Records, a country label owned by RCA Records and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.  "Small Town Girl" was certified gold in mid-January for selling more than 500,000 copies as it was fueled by the album's debut single, "Red High Heels."

Nashville Star will also be represented at the ACM Awards by Young, who won the fourth season and had his album debut at No. 3 on the Billboard country chart last October. He was nominated for top new male vocalist.

"The past week has signified everything we hoped to achieve with Nashville Star," said the series executive producer, Ben Silverman. "The show resonates with television viewers and country music fans because it produces stars and we couldn't be prouder of Miranda, Chris or our newest star Angela Hacker."

The 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is scheduled to air live on CBS on Tuesday, May 15 at 8PM ET from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.


(Photo credit Fox)


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