The list of nominees for the 51st Country Music Association Awards is finally out. While this year’s nominations carried expected names, the list is also filled with disappointments and surprises.

The 51st Country Music Association Awards nominees

The nominations for the 2017 CMA Awards have been announced. According to People, the announcement was made by American Idol Lauren Alaina, Brothers Osborne and Dustin Lynch last Monday from New York’s Time Square. The announcement aired live in the “Good Morning America” show.

The nominees for the Entertainer of the Year award are Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Luke Bryan.

Many were surprised that Miranda Lambert was not included in the nominees for this category. With Lambert’s high profile year, fans are convinced that the singer deserved a nomination for the top award. Notably, no female artist landed a nomination for the biggest CMA award. Billboard predicts that this story, or the lack thereof, will definitely raise speculations and make headlines in the succeeding weeks.

The nominees for Female Vocalist of the Year are Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini and Miranda Lambert. While Lambert’s presence was expected, many were surprised to see the name of four-time winner Reba McEntire in the nominees of this category. McEntire’s comeback is credited to the success of the singer’s chart-topping “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope” Gospel set.

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Fellow nominee Carrie Underwood is between album releases, while Kelsea Ballerini is expecting to release just her second album in November. Newcomer Maren Morris is the rising star of the bunch.

The nominees for Album of the Year Award are “The Breaker” (Little Big Town), “The Weight of These Wings” (Miranda Lambert), “From A Room: Volume 1” (Chris Stapleton), “The Nashville Sound” (Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit) and “Heart Break” (Lady Antebellum). For the first time in a long while, this year’s list of nominees included three albums which did not register a song in Country Airplay’s top 10 hit chart.

The nominees for Album of the Single of the Year Award include “Dirt On My Boots” (Jon Pardi), “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Keith Urban), “Body Like A Back Road” (Sam Hunt), “Better Man” (Little Big Town) and “Tin Man” (Miranda Lambert). Urban’s entry is currently considered as the most powerful song of his career while Lambert’s “Tin Man” was an outstanding performance. Jon Pardi’s nomination came as a surprise to many.

CMA 2017’s biggest surprise

Perhaps the biggest surprise on this year’s list of CMA nominees is the absence of one iconic artist. Five-time Male Vocalist of the Year awardee Blake Shelton is not nominated for any category this year. This is despite the fact that the singer’s records continue to reign the charts.