- - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Taylor Swift up against the boys for top CMA award

Taylor Swift will be battling the boys at the 2011 Country Music Association Awards.

The country starlet is up for entertainer of the year, where she’ll compete with Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean and last year’s winner, Brad Paisley, the Associated Press reports.

Singer Jake Owen and country trio the Band Perry made the announcement Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Miss Swift is also up for female vocalist of the year. Also nominated in that category are Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Sara Evans and Miranda Lambert, who won the honor last year on her 27th birthday.

Ms. Lambert’s husband, Mr. Shelton, will defend his male vocalist of the year award this year against Mr. Paisley, Mr. Urban, Mr. Aldean and Kenny Chesney.

The Band Perry picked up two nominations for new artist and for vocal group of the year. In the latter category, the group will compete with Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown Band and Little Big Town.

Nominees for five awards were announced on “GMA.” Other nominations were to be announced later Tuesday at a news conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Miss Underwood and Mr. Paisley will host the award show for a fourth time. It will air live Nov. 9 from Nashville on ABC.

MDA telethon raises $61.5 million without Lewis

Even without Jerry Lewis, the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon posted its best gain since the recession started, though the program’s longtime host was on the minds of many during the 46th annual fundraiser.

“American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said after co-hosting Sunday’s program that he’s sorry the famed comedian didn’t participate, but the organization needs to move on to ensure the fundraiser continues.

According to the Associated Press, the telethon raised nearly $61.5 million Sunday, an increase of about $2.6 million over last year, MDA officials said.

Mr. Lythgoe told the Associated Press minutes after the six-hour live broadcast ended on the East Coast that he thought the 85-year-old actor would show up either during the telecast or earlier to film a taped segment of his signature song “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

“I was fully expecting him to turn up at any point and join that six hours - and I’m sorry he didn’t,” Mr. Lythgoe told the AP. “And hopefully another year he might. I mean, he knows that he is always welcome on the telethon. It’s his baby.”

Story Continues →