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Stapleton, Church to take stage, vie for top awards at CMAs

NASHVILLE (TNN) -- Eric Church and Chris Stapleton are the top nominees. Luke Combs could also be in for a big evening. All three will perform Wednesday at CMA Awards.

Stapleton, Church, and others will be dancing the night away at the ceremony in Nashville. They are up for nominations in five of the same categories: entertainer, male vocalist, album, and best song.

Combs could be named male singer of the Year for the third consecutive year, could take song award for "Forever after All", and could be awarded entertainer of year for first time.

The 55th Annual CMA Awards will be telecast on ABC and hosted once again by Luke Bryan. After last year's ceremony, which was held at the Music City Center due to coronavirus pandemic, it's back at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, who were the most nominated female artists in the history of CMAs, are up for entertainer. Either of them would be the first women to win the award since Taylor Swift's 2011 win.

Gabby Barrett, a woman who is overwhelmingly nominated in the major categories by male nominees, is the night's most honored woman, receiving four nominations including female artist, single, and new artist, as well as song and song of the Year for her hit "The Good Ones."

Underwood, Jason Aldean and Chris Young will headline. This series of all-star collaborations will see them perform their current hit "If You Didn't Like You".

Other performers include and the Brothers Osborne Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde and Mickey Guyton with Brittney and Madeline Edwards.

Morgan Wallen was disqualified from major awards after being caught yelling a racist slur earlier in the year. However, he could still win one of the biggest prizes at the event, with an album-of the-year nomination for "Dangerous" which was one of the year's most popular records.

Wallen was awarded new artist of year in 2020 by the CMA Board of Directors. He would not be eligible to receive awards that honor the person, but only the work.

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